Empty houses are so hollow. It’s cold and echoey, and it’s a weird impersonal feeling. It’s someone’s ‘former home’, not yet made someone else’s. A strange purgatory.
Hill Shadow House was cold today. The icy winter wind blew the eddies of dead leaves and dog fur around the cold wooden floor. The doors rattled. It smelled… alien. Unfamiliar. The girls and I stood blinking in the dim cave. Could this ever feel like ‘home’?
Immediately I defaulted to ‘get busy’ mode! I ran to every room and threw open every window, curtain and door! Let the weird unfamiliar out! Let the icy fresh mountain air in!
Everything needs cleaning. Everything needs repairs. It’s all tired and dinged, and worn and yellowed. Dust coats every surface. The mud. The detritus.
Dear god. What have we done?
Ok. So there’s nothing I can do about all that right now. It’s work to be done after a cleaner has been. It’s so, so much work to be done.
So with the baby on my back, and Katie in her gumboots. We leaned against the wind with our jackets and buckets of feed to tend to our two horses. They dug appreciatively into their food, hunched against the blasting wind.
Finally we blew on our frozen fingers and tended the chickens – bequithed to us with the house from the former tennants. Five ageing ISAbrowns and a very handsome rooster. They haven’t been laying for weeks. Maybe it’s the cold.
Maybe it’s a good omen?
What do you do to cleanse a new place? How do you make it yours? What things can you do to make it feel more like your home?