Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Home is what you make it


Well we've made it. Five months and 2,000 miles later and we're shaking the road off of our feet and slowly settling into our new home in the Pacific Northwest.

When we pulled up roots in Oklahoma and headed to the Pacific Northwest I expected all of the normal changes: climate, culture and all of the typical dynamics that go along with a move, like, where's the closest bank, where do I buy groceries and how do I get to local post office.

But as I was unpacking I had this unsettled feeling and couldn't shake it.

I rationalized all the normal feelings about the amount of stress moves can create, but nothing I did seemed to make a difference. The more I tried to get settled the more I felt unsettled. I needed to make this my home, put my stamp on it. But how? The inside of the house was coming along but the outside...well, I hadn't touched it.

It didn't really make sense to me to bother with the outside because I knew we'd be moving again, at best we'd be here until next summer. So logically it doesn't really make sense to “dig in” and make it ours because, well..we'll be moving.

At least that's what I was trying to convince myself day in and day out. My mantra to myself and our boys was, “This is not home, we're not staying.” Which really equated in my mind to “keep it simple and keep it sterile. Don't bother trying to really settle in because whatever you do you'll have to tear up when it's time to move.”

After weeks of doing all of the necessary things like dealing with utility & cable companies and sending out change of address forms, I just couldn't take this feeling which was something akin to cabin fever.

So what to do?

Get outside! Plant something! Get some fresh air!

Now when we were packing up our old home, I chose to bring all of my indoor plants because I knew they'd transition well, because they had ridden in the car. But all of my perennial planters I left with my mom. I hated to leave behind my roses, lavenders, lantanas and a huge 6ft.cedar box filled with sedums. But I had very little faith they'd make the week long haul to the Pacific Northwest in the back of a U-Haul trailer, let alone the 30 degree temperature change.

Seriously folks, when we left Oklahoma in the second week of September we were still having 100 degree days and 80 degree evenings. By the time we arrived in the NW and finally found a place to live two weeks after we arrived, the temps were already in the mid 60's - low 70's. My poor plants would have had heart attacks had they been able to!

But now what? I knew with it being the beginning of October there'd be slim pickins. I didn't care. I needed to dig in the dirt no matter what.

That meant grabbing a couple of mums, a seasonal grass and a pumpkin and getting busy.

As I started piddling around our place I tethered our 2 new pups out front so they too could get some fresh air. I watched them romp and play and I couldn't help but laugh at them and relax.

This is what I needed,outside, digging in the dirt, laughing at the dogs, meeting a few of our neighbors and making our house a home. For us gardening types, a home isn't only about the inside 4 walls, it's about the outside as well.

In fact, that afternoon spent outside breathing in the crisp fall air while letting my fingers go numb as I hosed down the porch with ice cold water from the hose did more to alleviate the stress from the move than anything I was trying to accomplish inside.

When all was said and done, the outside looked a little more welcoming, a little bit more like home and I was beginning to truly settle in.

Here, take a peek! I hope you enjoy.

 Mums, a seasonal grass and an old warty pumpkin

A seasonal wreath

And the finished product!

Until next time,

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