Monday, October 17, 2011


It's time to write again.
My, how the time flies by, when you're spinning in circles all day long and then it takes an hour to make the lunches for the next day after dinner clean up because you're so tired. But it's all good work, for good people, and while I'm wondering who is going to make Liam's octopus costume and when, I'm still managing to hang onto my surfboard as the ocean undulates below me. Thankfully, Aoife has decided once again to be some variety of fairy princess for Halloween which means I can, with gratitude, send her to the gigantic dress up basket on the 31st of October to choose her own get-up.
This weekend was our town's fall festival. We live in a very small town up in the hills, and it's important for me to attend this festival every fall to remind myself how incredibly adorable this community really is. Of course there's the beautiful white church, town hall, and pristine library that comprise our town centre and sit perched atop a hill with panoramic views of the Connecticut River Valley. But on Festival day the back lawn of the library becomes a hubbub of activity with little tents, pens with all varieties of baby and adult animals, a cow pie bingo pen, lots of food tents, fairy house building, a craft table, and bounce house... and all the activities are free. Open to the public, and free. Amazing.
This festival consists of a kick-off 5K run through the hills (Liam completed his first 5K run, I'm proud to say, with Greg, Maeve, Grandpa and me!) followed by a variety of music, tours of the old blacksmith shop museum, home made sugar donuts, pies for sale, tractors to climb on, corn to grind, wool to spin, cider to press, and lots of animals to visit of course. There was a woodsman's competition and a trebuchet slingshot contraption flinging squashes into the forest.

The highlight of the festival comes at 4 PM when the Great Pumpkin Roll happens. At this time, all children get a small pumpkin and go to the top of the hill, and after singing a song, which is of course called, "The Great Pumpkin Roll," the starting gun fires and everyone pitches their pumpkin forward, and then great chaos emerges as each child rushes down the hill after his or her pumpkin. There are always a few tears as pumpkins are lost and kids trip on the incredibly steep hill on the way down, but there are way more smiles and cheers as the kids run sometimes half a mile down the hill after their pumpkins. One can easily imagine how quickly the 10 year old boys begin smashing pumpkins on the street on the way back up the hill and how shocked and horrified the 8 year old girls act as they compare how their pumpkins survived the journey and cradle them, hoping they will make it home for a good jack-o-lantern.
This year, our competitive by nature son was prepared to run all the way home if necessary (we live 1 mile down), and thrilled at the prospect of doing so. Aoife was almost going to opt out, as the throng of over-excited bodies pitching quickly downhill is always terrifying to her (and who can blame her, she's still barely 40 pounds) but a schoolmate's enthusiasm convinced her to at least pitch the pumpkin, and send Grandpa after it. Fiona spent the whole day saying, "Frow pumpkin down driveway, want to frow my pumpkin NOW down driveway, want pumpkin, want pumpkin NOW!" and then, in typical almost-two year old fashion, clung to her pumpkin and would not budge when the time came. It was an amazing day together, spent as a family, and it helped me to center in to the cute little community that I may have only lived in for 9 years but that has been my children's home for all of their lives.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how small our house is going to seem in 5 years, or maybe in only two, and how at some point we might actually consider the thought (just consider) of moving somewhere else. It really could only happen if we found the exact homestead that we envisioned originally, the dream that was too high to aspire for when we scraped together just enough to buy the tiny cottage that we were able to renew and expand to become what we call home today. It would have to be the farmhouse with acres of land and an attic to renovate into our bedroom, with a barn big enough for a swing and an existing place for our hens and enough room so that we could have a dog or two without wondering where even the dog would sleep. But I'm starting to realize that if we did, or could find that place at the time when our house was feeling too small, it might have to happen.
I know many people who have moved after their babies died, but I can't shake the feeling that I would be leaving Charlotte behind if I ever left this place. I think there's also a piece of me that feels so attached to this house because I feel like I absolutely became the woman I am here. I moved in here a slip of a girl with a basketball under my dress and I've become a wise, aged mother over the years, and more than feeling like I couldn't leave, I can't bear the thought of somebody else taking over this domain which is so sacred to me.
Maybe I'd have to be one of those weird sellers who would only sell their house to a family they really, really like.

And what of the placenta of the daughter I lost, which now lies encompassed in the root system of a very successful, 25 foot plum tree? What of that?


Hope's Mama said...

I feel the same about my home, though we live in a very small two bedroom unit with a very small back yard. We dream of a place like yours to call home, and hopefully one day we will.
But practicalities tell us we must move on from here, and we will. But I can't shake that feeling that this was her house. She came to be in this house (as did her two siblings). She died in this house. Her two siblings came home to this house. It is tiny and bursting at the seams, but this place feels so tied to my children and my mothering. I just don't know how I'll let go.

Aimee said...

I fighting this RIGHT NOW! Here we are in the midst of packing and moving to the neighborhood we have always wanted to live in, next to friends we adore in a community we feel so at-home with. And yet...her tree is right there. This will always be her home...and now there are people moving in here who don't even know her. It is so, so, so hard!