In the fall of 2003, Bob and I flew to Maine over a long weekend to visit with Bob’s sister and her family. (It’s hard to believe we ever had the free time and the free will for a trip of such leisure.) Have you ever been to Maine in early October? It’s absolutely magnificent. I still, over ten years later, have never seen an autumn like that one. Wave after wave of leaves falling on little lanes lined with shingled houses. It looked like a postcard.
At one point during our visit, we attended Bob’s nephew’s soccer game. It was played on this big, wide open field with a backdrop of tall trees in the most vivid shades of orange and red and green. I remember sitting on the sidelines (wearing a sweatshirt in October as God intended, VIRGINIA) and thinking to myself, I wonder if they realize what they’ve got here. If they know how special this place is. All of this… space. This room to live.
At the time, I had only been in the Washington, D.C. area for about a year and city life was proving claustrophobic. Our commute was long, our views very short. I didn’t love it but I did love Bob and I knew we would be living there, together, for a very long time.
But, I never really forgot about that soccer field in Maine; the feeling I had sitting there, surrounded by such beauty. And, after three houses and eleven years, we’ve finally found a field of our own.
Recently, after posting (yet another) picture to Instagram of our backyard fire pit all aflame, a friend of mine commented, “Your photos of your home/yard/view make me so happy. You have found your perfect spot, and I love to see you enjoying it!”
Reading that made me feel better about posting dozens of pictures of sunrises, sunsets, mountains, fields and dilapidated stone walls. I felt others might be thinking I was laying it on a little thick. But, that’s exactly how it feels; like we have finally found our perfect spot. We love where we live.
It has been seven months since our move and from the very first day of living out here, we’ve felt like we were home. The mountains and the farms and the horses and the open space speaks deeply to both Bob and I. We both feel an instant sense of relaxation when we are headed west and the Blue Ridge first come into view.
Bob grew up in the rolling hills and deep valleys just south of the Adirondack Mountains in New York so everything about living out here reminds him of home. I grew up in a 1980s Colonial off of a cul-de-sac in complete suburbia so I can’t quite pinpoint why I like it so much. My mom was raised on a farm so the only explanation is that a love for rural living must be coded somewhere deep in my DNA.
And, lest I give the impression that we are pioneers tilling the soil for sustenance in the middle of nowhere, let me clarify that western Loudoun County is more like “Country Lite.” That’s what we call it anyway. We feel like we’re far away from it all but we’re still only 15 minutes from a grocery store that carries fancy cheese. Also, the ratio of wineries to people out this way is exceptional. This is probably more important to me than it should be. But, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a selling feature when we were house-hunting.
In fact, once we found our home, the most nerve-wracking part of our move was wondering how taxing Bob’s daily commute to the office would be. Turns out, it might actually be the most relaxing part of his day. He boards a super comfortable bus, sits for an hour in complete peace and quiet, then gets deposited at the front door of his building. Same goes for the way home. He’ll tell anyone that will listen all about the bus. He loves it. So, don’t cry for Bob, Argentina, is what I’m trying to say. In fact, I’m kind of jealous. I would love an hour of complete silence to begin and end my work day.
After so many years of trying to make so many different living situations work, I am relieved to finally feel settled somewhere that is perfect for us. That after so many years, that box is at last checked off. Our home, this place, is an incredible blessing.
Also, fair warning that peak leaf season is upon us and I’m about to blow up Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with pictures of foliage and decorative gourds (don’t click on that link, Dad). Thanks, in advance, for tolerating the onslaught.