Life lately: Home land

I’m already seeing back-to-school displays, and it feels like the summer just started. Hard to believe August here.

We spent May and June selling our south Seattle house and buying one in Renton, a suburb south of the city. Selling was no trouble as the buyers we worked with were eager and excited to buy our house, and they were genuinely nice people and easy to work with throughout the process.

The buying process, on the other hand, was just short of a nightmare. The sellers of our new house were unpleasant and difficult. After a few unforeseen complications, we finally closed on July 3rd and have been unpacking and getting settled ever since.

All that being said, we absolutely love this house. And more than just the house, we love the neighborhood, the neighbors and having a private backyard. Even the small annoying things, like the one toilet we can’t get to work in the very outdated bathroom, doesn’t bother me. I couldn’t say that about our Seattle house. No matter how updated the rooms became, there were so many things that just didn’t feel right: the flow from room to room, the layout of various rooms, that it was taking forever to fix up and update…the lack of neighborhood, community and yard privacy, among other issues.

But THIS house feels like–no, IS, HOME. The moment I walked in, I knew it. We were touring the master bedroom when I said to our broker: This is it. This is the house. He asked what about the house made me feel that way. “Everything,” I said. “The smell, the energy, the layout of rooms, the clean design, the mid-century bones updated timelessly. The yard.”

The yard was important because Maxine has so much extra energy to burn off, it provides her fresh air to do that. It provides her with a garden to meet fairies, to plant trees or fruits, to pick berries and apples and figs. It provides her a safe space to explore and pretend. And it allows us as a family a space to be outside more, to eat outside, to host outside. We absolutely treasure the backyard.

I’m sitting outside on the covered patio under cafe lights, listening to Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington. In the back of the garden, I can see the fairy house Maxie put out last week, with (LED) tea lights, to attract our flighty friends. Our neighbors are social but respectfully quiet. It’s truly a magical experience to live here, and I am grateful every day for the opportunity.

 

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First Hike in a Year!

You guys, I am so jazzed.

Yesterday was the first hike I have been on IN A YEAR! A year! Can you believe it? The last hike we did was at Nolte State Park–a super easy loop off Chinook Pass and Highway 410. Nathan and I took Maxine there last May (MAY!), not long before I found out I was pregnant–and that followed an entire summer planned of hikes, cancelled due to morning sickness! Ah, it was the worst! So depressing. And Seattle weather was so bad anyway, so it would have been a lot of wet hiking last summer anyway.

But it’s a new year! And in addition to this being our first hike in a year, it was Florence (a.k.a. little Lo, or Flora), our new baby’s first hike! How exciting, right? She slept in the Ergo the whole time, but I am sure as little Lo was sleeping she was taking in the fresh air, birds chirping, and luscious sound of the creek flowing nearby. It was a really lovely day for a hike!

We took the Red Town trail at Coal Creek and walked in about a mile before we turned back. I didn’t want Maxine, who is now 2.5!, to get too tired going in. She’s a very vocal and fussy Two, so we have to mitigate that as much as possible. It was 2.5 miles into Red Town, which is apparently a Washington State “ghost town”. Red Town was the name of the coal mining town, now known as Newcastle, before it was suburban and residential, back in the 1800s. Current remains include hotel ruins, coal mining relics, the Baima House, railroad grade, site of school, and cemetery. My sister-in-law says it’s a lovely place to walk through, so I am excited to complete the hike by the end of the summer.

Coal Creek Trail _ May 2017

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