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April 18, 2001: Settling in

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After the flurry of all the must-unpack-now items, I'm unpacking slowly - organizing, shifting things around, getting settled. The kitchen has empty cupboards I don't know how to fill. I have more counter space than I expected. I am in awe of how much space is in this house. I feel as if we rattle around in it. Our furniture seems so tiny in these rooms.

We put up hooks for our robes last night and felt ridiculously pleased with ourselves. It's so ....well...adult to do this kind of thing. It's an odd feeling.

It's fading now, but every now and then I don't quite feel like I belong here yet. It's our stuff and the cats are here and I walk around and know where things are but still - this isn't quite yet my house. It's like we're merely squatting in someone else's beautiful house, and eventually they will come back and we'll have to go away again.

We have two city-issued garbage cans. one gray and one green. We've got the utilities set up in our name now. We've got - hopefully - a mailbox key (which they have yet to deliver to us). And we have DSL - finally DSL.

The office comes next but that's such a small task compared to the house itself. We're getting a list of things that need to be fixed. A leaking sink. Scratches in a marble countertop. The electrical connections that run the gas fireplace in the master bedroom aren't working. Nothing major, but still significant enough to note and get taken care of while we're still under warranty.

There is an echo in the stairwell. We call to each other and the voices become garbled and difficult to understand. Upstairs you cannot hear the garage door when it opens or closes. The doorbell has a clean new tone to it - bold bells. The stone dragons are on the front steps. The stone goose is by the door.

I can look out the window next to my computer and watch birds fluttering around the yard. At night we lay in bed and listen to the song of birds in the neighbors' trees. Occasionally through the window we can see (but not hear) a tractor in the farm beyond the street's end, and when everything else is perfectly quiet, we can hear the whispered echo of the train horns as they pass through the edge of town.

I am more at peace here than I've been in some time. It's not just that I have time off from work, nor is it simply that the house is done and we are finally moved in. It's that we're home. Finally home. And this time it's really and truly ours.

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