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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Changing Leaves

"And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be are full of trees and changing leaves."
- Virginia Woolf

When I look back on these last two years of my absence from this blog, I am astounded at how much has happened in such a short window of time!  Like a sudden rush of wind, life comes at you quick, and once you’ve smoothed back your hair and regained your composure, years have swept by and you’re a wife, a mother, and have a 30-year mortgage. At least that’s how it worked out for me.

On a blistering cold February day in 2016, I found our home while driving through the town of Setauket, an old coastal community on the north shore of Long Island. I said I “found” it, but I’d already known about the house and saw it on and off the market for quite some time, never completely sure what its status was. I can’t tell you what possessed me on that particular day to pull over and write the real estate agent’s number down, but before I knew it I was scheduling a showing.
“Could you tell me why it hasn’t sold yet?” I asked the agent over the phone with a hint of worry in my voice. This was a highly desirable neighborhood, and from what I could tell, the property was in mint condition.
“The house is waiting for the right person,” was all he replied.
When we arrived there that following week, it was another painfully cold afternoon with biting winds that tore through the surrounding woods. I parked our car in front of the house, and just as I shut the engine off, the for-sale sign blew over onto the icy snow before us.
At that moment, I knew the house had made its choice.
We moved in on Memorial Day weekend, and it’s safe to say the spirits of the house are friendly, in case you thought I was hinting otherwise. It didn’t take long for us to make it our own, hauling in the troves of antiques that once overwhelmed our cramped apartment, updating the kitchen, and annihilating a jungle of knotweed that had conquered half of our backyard.
Then, right in the midst of all the hammers pounding, paint drying, and sprinklers wetting the newly sown grass, we found out I was having a baby.

Our beautiful daughter, Catherine Anne, was born on May 15th, 2017, and subsequently my own life too had begun that day. Returning through the threshold of our house after being discharged from the hospital, thoughts about period correct paint colors and window treatments that once echoed from these walls were markedly silent. Instead, the name Catherine Anne reverberated like a church bell on Christmas morning throughout every room, soared up through the chimney and burst into the sky with a wondrous toll. Catherine Anne!
Our house, in a torrent of celebration, had finally become a home.

Since then, there has been about 6,200 diaper changes under our roof, seemingly the same amount of baby toys littered across what used to be a floor, and more laughs and kisses than we could ever possibly count. Did I mention I also got married?

           So that, my friends, is where I have been these past couple of years, and from where I will now pick up. The winds have calmed, and I'm ready once again to sit down and write.
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