Ding-ding-ding, DING-ding-ding, DING-DING-ding, DING-DING-DING! sang J's cell alarm.
Mumbling, he hit the snooze icon on it, and rolling over, pulled me into him.
We sighed happily in unison.
Duggita, DUggitta, DUGitta, DUGGitta, DUGGItta, DUGGITta, DUGGITTA!
"Uuuugh, hrrrummmph, StoppitCAT!" moaned J.
"Mrrrow? MROOOOOOW--EEEE-oooowww," whined Seuss.
Duggitta, DUG---- swoop! Seuss was whisked away mid-paw of the bedside cabinet. When he's awake and hungry, he finds the most annoying thing he can do to coerce action into his humans. Eating homework papers, eating papers, shredding boxes, shredding bags, playing with things that make really irritating repetitive noises like pawing doors, cabinets, and pushing books off of tables...
"Gotcha Bad Cat. Here," he said as he thrust our tabby Maine coon, the younger of our two males, in between his body and the form of mine.
"PRRRRRRUUURRRRRRRRRURRRRR," Seuss responded, his large warm body vibrating against my ribcage.
This was nice.... until I peeked through my half-opened eyes at the clock and read: 5:50. We had to get up in 3 minutes... well... correction. J had to get up in 3 minutes.
Lately, I'd been slacking on my duties to get up with him.
Normally, our routine is that we get up together, he goes out to check on the chickens while I make breakfast, then we eat together and I prep his lunch while he packs his bag for the day. Then it's a quick finishing of coffee, a hug and a kiss, and out the door he goes.
However, the new phenomenon is, that I don't get up when he does. As he rises, plunking "dismiss," into his phone, to silence the too-cheerful alarm, I whisper...
"You'll come say goodbye, right?" to which he responds,
"Of course Love," and then continues on his way.
This secondary option to our daily pattern, usually means that he doesn't have time to eat a full breakfast, that he runs out of time to get everything packed before the bus, that he usually forgets something (though never my goodbye hug and kiss) and that as a result, he is much less relaxed in the morning, because he has no help from me.
In short, it's me being a lazy partner.
I'm not sure if it's because it's been so bright and beautiful outside lately, or what, but I've been having a difficult time getting up in the morning. I've also been having a hard time getting my chores done: Piles of laundry remain in their baskets unfolded... we're running out of common household items like a scrubber for the cast iron pans, automatic dish detergent, toilet paper...
I finally remedied that issue yesterday: I bought auto dish soap, a scrubber and TP. Which reminds me... Disney is certainly getting their adverts out for The Lorax movie. You know, the one based on the Dr. Seuss story?
"I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees...." he drones.
I love trees. I also love Seventh Generation products. These two have married in the advertising campaign for The Lorax movie.
The T.P. I bought yesterday has LORAXs on it. It's rather fabulous, though I DO feel like a putz for purchasing TP with a cartoon character on it, even if I was going to buy that brand anyway, because it's 100% recycled post-consumer waste and it's the SOFTEST of the 'eco-friendly,' brands besides....
Speaking of trees...
I have this vision. I have had it for a long, long time. I think I first imagined it when I in my senior year of high school....
It is the image of a stone cottage with a red door... it's really a stone farmhouse, surrounded by large shade trees... oaks, maples, ashes, lindens, elms.... as you face the cottage, to the left is a dirt path driveway that continues beyond the house to the barn behind it.
Between the dirt and the house, there is a wooden fence: the kind behind which horses are kept. This fence goes around the house and closes in front with a gate, running around the sides and opening up into a larger grass-covered paddock behind the house, connecting to the end of the barn - where the doors are open for the animals to have shelter, shade and covered water.
The barn itself, is a two-story structure; the stalls large and comfortable, enough for 3 or 4 horses, with a large hayloft above; bales stacked in a large space on the right end side of the upstairs. There is a wall behind the hayloft, with a secure door.
On the other end, taking up 2/3 of the 2nd story, is a large, open studio-- well sprung floors, barres, skylights, mirrors and a sound system. Marley covers the hard wood of the floor.
Moving through that to the end of the 2nd story, opposite the hayloft end, is a staircase which leads down to the ground floor, along the stall aisle.
Downstairs are the stalls and a tack-room; with a harness for a team of drafts, lightweight saddles, snaffle bits and bridles, reins, blankets, pads, boots, gloves, helmets, liniment, tools, brushes, sponges, buckets, cabinets, a sink, a small refrigerator, treats, a closet for sweet feed, a first aid kit, a radio...
Leaving the tack room, past the stalls, and out through the gated end (directly under the hayloft on the second story) is the paddock/green mini-pasture that opens across to the back of the house.
On the far end of the fence, on the other side, is the vegetable garden and compost pile.
On the opposite end of the green, the flowers begin, balancing out the veggies. The flowers wrap around to the front of the house, just in front of the fence.
The front of the stone cottage has windows, and flower boxes beneath.
The fenced in area attached to the barn and wrapping around the house, is so the horses can peek in to the kitchen via the window over the sink, which faces the barn, or the dutch door leading out to the back, the top half of which can be left open...
Through the dutch door, to the right is the aforementioned kitchen, complete with double sink (and window) and a large counter along the back wall.
The end of the kitchen is cozied by a farm table with windows all around; wooden and sturdy, that could seat six, or be extended to seat ten to twelve.
The wall opposite the sink, houses a built-in buffet and cabinets; glass and wooden doors holding dishes, cookbooks, cutlery and after that, on the end farthest from the table, is the icebox (refrigerator)... between this wall and the sink wall, in the center of the kitchen, is a moveable island.
Anchored to the floor by wheels with brakes, it includes extra counter space, enough room for a few stools, and can be moved to replace the table at the end of the space, in case the gathering requires all the leaves and thus, a larger dining area.
To the left of the dutch door is the double built in oven-- with a gas range-top stove just after it. Next to that lies the door to the pantry/cellar.
Then a corner built in shelf, for more books and hanging pots and pans, and the end of the kitchen, opposite the table end, is the entry way into the living room.
It is an open, high ceilinged room; the highest in the house. Most of the ceilings are 10.5 feet, this room must be practically double that from floor to ceiling--- it spans into the second story.
Through the entryway, directly across is the large fireplace.
To the left of the doorway, down the wall a ways, is a small half-bath.
Standing in the doorway, looking to the right and front, is a piano, flanked on all sides by the walls of books. A guitar in a floor stand also resides in a corner by the piano, next to it's bench.
Directly to the right, if standing in the entryway again, is the small hallway into the front door. A rack for coats, with a bench and shoe compartments underneath, is built into the tiny hallway that opens to the red door and the open front porch of the house.
It is flagstone, or some other stone, and has a porch swing and windows with the aforementioned flower boxes, with wooden pillars at the corners and framing the stairs to the entrance of the house.
Back in the living room there is a circle rug in the center of the room in front of the fireplace; bordered by a large, deep, but firmly cushioned sofa, with a folded quilt upon it.
Opposite the couch, are a love seat and an overstuffed chair; all cozy and warm.
All the walls of this room, from floor to ceiling, are built in bookshelves; every wall space but the stone chimney over the fireplace are covered with books- with a ladder on each wall to the left, right and across from the fireplace.
To the left and forward, still perspectively standing in the doorway, is a circling, wood carved staircase leading upstairs; the underside of the staircase are again, built in bookshelves.
To stand inside the underside of the staircase, would be to have books winding up and around you in a 360 degree wide ribbon.
Behind the spiral stairway, on the wall of books, is a built in door; unnoticed except by those who know it's there, that can be pulled gently open into a chamber with couches, a projector and rows of movies and films. A sound system lives in here, which can send melodies and music all over the house.
Up the winding, swirling, stairs, at the top of the landing, there is a small, round balcony floating amidst the bookshelves (railings all around, like a crow's nest, except that it opens to the upstairs), which looks down over the warmly lit room.
At the edge of the circle, facing the fireplace, is a large dog bed.
Stepping out of the circle, lead two a wide hallways.
Down the hallway to the right, first door on the left, is an office: comfortable and open, with a large partner's desk and black and white photographs covering a lot of the walls.
Down the a bit further, with a door on the right, is a small linen closet; further down on the right is a the master bedroom.
The door opens to a room with an old, dark wood carved bed, and not much else in the way of furniture, except a large trunk, containing family quilts at the foot of the bed.
Directly across from the bed is a walk-in closet. Next to that, a door opens into a modestly sized full bath. Most of the space taken by a large, extra-long, deep and wide, claw-foot tub with a shower.
Light cascades through windows and skylights in this bathroom, but it is still warm and fresh; not stark and sterile. At the end of the bathroom, lies the second door of access. It opens back into the hallway.
Take the other hallway leading out of the crow's nest, and we find ourselves in the part of the house above the kitchen.
The first door on the left enters a bedroom smaller than the master, with a bed and built in shelving and windows facing the view from the front of the house. This room has an attached half bath and a domed ceiling, with a skylight at the center.
On the other side of the hall, a door opens into a full bathroom with a tub and shower, and another door opening into a bedroom with two twin beds, or stacked bunk beds. It's windows mirror that of the kitchen; looking out on to the small paddock and towards the barn.
A door at the opposite wall, opens back into the hallway.
At the end of this second hall is a door which has a small set of stairs opening up into the attic room, which spreads back out over the footprint of the house.
It has windows at either end, and two skylights dance in the center of the roof, across the broad beams of the ceiling. A bed sits on a frame close to the floor at one end of the room, covered by a quilt.
The rest of the space is open: with cameras, art supplies, and other miscellaneous activity-related items placed here and there on a single shelf, running under the windows around the room.
There is a rocking chair by the other window opposite end. Four large windows, one each in the center of the wall, provide a stunning view of the landscape.
This stone farmhouse is shaped rather like a tall rectangle; it is cute and rustic and medium sized, not huge, though it uses it's space quite well.
High ceilings make smaller rooms seem larger; stone and wood send a timeless feel throughout the place.
It's all in my head. It's all... safe. It's all made-up.
You'll note that the house of which I've written is uninhabited; oh sure, evidences are there, like the dog bed, but in my description it is silent. Untouched.
The horses, the dog and cats, the things I left out of this description:
The lake out beyond the property,
the unmentioned shed which holds the cart the draft team can pull and the gardening tools,
the two-car garage attached to the end of the barn opposite the hay loft and paddock;
the pasture beyond bordering the lake along with the rest of the property;
the birds twittering high above in the canopy of shade trees;
the imaginary children padding barefoot around the floors -- no carpet, just a few rugs here and there... radiant heat flooring in the bathrooms;
quilts all over the place;
pies cooling on the windowsills...
This is the home of my imagination.
It is the place I return to in my mind for solitude and the company of a family not yet come together-- not yet born.
It is the place where my wishes come and go; the place I dream of finding, or building and resting within.
It is the sacred space of my heart; a place that I have dreamed of, yet know not whether it exists beyond the realm of my yearning and creation.
There are so many things I want to do, so many things that I want to experience and learn.
The children I love already, but who haven't even been conceived!
Such is this: my feeling of time is circular, I feel all this is familiar, even though I haven't experienced most of it yet.
It is all a huge, intricately ornate deja-vu for me.
Will I ever find it? This home that popped into my head one day? This sanctuary in the realm of possibilities?
Perhaps I'll find a space that has elements of it: that is more realistic. Some home made of stone, with land for horses and space for a garden.
Until then, whether I happen upon this home of my dreams, or whether I must build it with my own two hands, or hire a contractor, I will keep on dreaming.
Because after all; if you're going to dream, why not dream as well you are able to?
How else will you know what you're looking for when you see it?