Monday, August 22, 2011


Over four years ago, we moved into our home.  I still remember the feeling of when it was empty and how good that felt.  The kids felt the "space" and ran around in the joy of it..exploring the nooks and crannies and the openness of it.  

In it's empty state, it held "potential"..promise of the ideas of how that space could be used.  It held future and vision in its non-defined state.  

Since that time, we have filled it up!  (-;  

In some ways, our home was "too polished" for us...Shiny-new remodel.  Trees already planted.  Yard tidy and polished and pruned.  It had a sprinkler system to water the grass, an central airconditioner, dishwasher.. carpeted, finished basement.  Being that polished didn't really "match" us as a family..

Since that time, we have taken out the sprinkler system...since part of it "burst" during one of our winters..and we also had to dig in our yard to put in a french drain and drywell, because our basement flooded because of hydrostatic pressure from all the rain/and non functioning downspout drain system that was clogged and degrading underground. We have disconnected most of the downspouts..

We have planted 2 apple tress and one cherry tree, put in 6 raised beds for growing food, and also put in blueberries and raspberries,  and changed a flower bed into an herb garden.

Our shiny new dishwasher being as most dishwashers these days died after 2 years of use.  It is a nice dry rack now.

We took out the carpet in 2 of the basement rooms because of the flooding..tore out drywall from  a wall, and then replaced it.

And our yard has been overtaken by weeds, thistle, dandilions, and blackberries...One tree has grown into the power lines in our back yard. Another tree has been sending out watershoots all over the front yard..bushes need to be cut back every year or they "clutter" and take over..

Our cheap closet doors have been taken out due to their lack of true funcionality...

So, we have adequately, "lived in our home"..  (-;  It is resemebeling less and less the former owners and looking more and more like us, (I suppose)--but it does not mirror exactly what I want it to..  I don't want "clutter"  and "unkempt" to be part of what we "are"...(the wild beauty of the raised beds are okay..but not the water shoots..or the blackberries..or the excess of toys and uncovered closets.) Our home has  not quite been  congruent yet with who we are..Has not quite matched our values..  Decorative trees and bushes that do not provide food, are not quite beautiful, but require quite a bit of upkeep..  We are not into being simply "decorative"  Too many toys is not congruent with our view on sustainability..  The incongruities have been wearing us down.

But, here is the wave of what is happening now:

We are purging...and creating "space" again.  

And my husband rented an industrial weed wacker and rototiller and bought a chainsaw from a yard sale, and has tacked the blackberries, removed the bushes, and the neglected bark chip borders (overtaken by grass and weeds)..and has cleared it all out..  Yesterday, he mostly cut down the tree that has to be pruned away from the power line every year (so we don't have to constantly maintain it)..  We are going to also cut down the tree that sends out water shoots..  Our goal is to eliminate most the the things in our yard that create mainenance requirements on us that don't seem worth it..don't give us payback (like producing fruit/food)..  

Our time and our space is precious.

Yesterday after going to a workshop on Simplicity Parenting, I rode the inertia of inspiration and courage and put away the little upstairs TV..probably will sell/give it away.  Now, if the kids want to watch TV, they have to go to the effort of going into the basement TV room..(and most of the time they don't want to do that)..  I also purged out more of their toys.  And instead of picking out toys from the bins and the floors, I dumped it all in a box as if I was getting rid of it all..then I picked out a few things to keep.. I realized THIS is what I have to do if I REALLY want to make a good enough dent to feel good about!  

Pretend I am getting RID of all of it...take it out of the space completely, then only put back into the space what is TRULY cherished/needed/used!

(I think the key to deciding what to keep is asking yourself "do I LOVE this thing" and if you don't LOVE it, don't keep is taking away from you/diminishing you...  Only keep what you LOVE and what you really USE..  (there is still much more to do...) but this step, felt liberating..Keep only what you LOVE and what brings you joy and beauty..  Even butterfly bushes that can be beautiful become "junk" and "burden" and "overwhem-ment" if there is too much of them and you feel diminished if you don't have the time to prune them. ..You look at them and think.."I still need to get to those!" instead of "how pretty is that one bush!

And you know what happened.. This morning with no TV in our living room, we instead sat out on the front porch (on a new bench I found at a yard sale).. and talked and watched the out the binoculars and looked more closely at the birds... We NEVER would have had that moment if the TV had been in the living room.  

That is what I mean by when you create space, something else fills it up..  a good something..a real something..  

And when I looked out in the back yard at the places where we used to have weeds and bushes and a tree...I see "space"..and that "space" is amazingly calming..

and filled with "potential" again..future that is not "defined" yet.  



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