Building a Homestead
Other than my lame attempts at poetry and my very public screaming about the weather for the last week (see: Twitter) — I’ve been thinking about this new little home I’m building. Technically, I’m renting. But let me get carried away, will you?
The creation of a home is something that requires magic. How many have visited a house that felt homey? Or maybe you better remember those that didn’t? It is strange to be in a house that is so perfect it resembles a Stepford scene/Pottery Barn catalog. On the contrary, my favorite homes are interesting for the same reasons my friends are — quirks, flaws and wild senses of both humor and creativity.
Not my childhood home
The home I grew up in was immaculate. Homemade quilts on the backs of couches and tucked in tidy linen closets, rows of homemade preserves and pickled vegetables in the pantry, a riot of roses in deep planters overlooking the living room window. My mother was a domestic queen who thoroughly enjoyed keeping house, including a penny-perfect budget.
My mother, I’m sadly not. But she did provide great encouragement for her children to be artsy dreamers. The house of my dreams is similar in design to that of Frida’s childhood home in Mexico. Adobe walled bedrooms, with French doors leading to a central courtyard — where giant, old trees are wrapped in tiny white lights, and a kitchen full of pottery and a warm meal awaits any visitor. I was closer to recreating this vision living in the desert southwest. And by “closer,” I mean a long-shot.
Also, not my childhood home
Alas, my dream home isn’t a log cabin in some remote up-canyon community. (Lovely to vacation, but my social heart would die a sad, lonely death up in them there hills.) Instead, my Colorado homestead blueprints include:
- A rustic farm table with benches for the kitchen — rumor has it my carpenter grandfather is working on this for me. Spoiled? Slightly. I hope to host many community dinners and eventually feed a family at this table. I am so very, very thankful my grandfather is creating this heirloom for my new home.
- A kitchen window where I can hang the Japanese curtain panel I purchased and tucked away years ago, knowing the day would eventually come when, indeed, I could look out over my
- kitchen garden. Have you heard of a potager? Frida and Diego had one of these too. In theory, you should be no farther than arm’s length from the kitchen to harvest herbs. For this home, this garden will be one of pots. While I timed my escape of Arizona’s heat just right, I underestimated the time it would take to get settled to plant my own garden in time. A few potted tomatoes, basil and other herbs will be just outside of that window, next to the compost bin — also handy to have near the kitchen sink. Grandpa already built the compost bin. I know. A carpenter and a quilter in the family? I’m lucky.
- My own pantry lined with Mason jars full of food I’ve grown and preserved
- A proper guest room with plenty of clean linens for the many visitors I’ve have scheduled for summer get-aways
- A stack of board games and a wine fridge; I’d rather entertain with these than a television
- A large dog bed in the living room, a large coop full of fowl in the yard, and a porch with a bench, pots of flowers and a wind chime
- Framed photos of the many I love
- A basket over-flowing with yarn, needles and projects to share with visitors
- Another basket for cards and correspondence — what a treat to have the postman come to my door!
- A chalk board where I can list my prayer for the week
This is all coming together; it really is such a dream to be in the mountains, at this phase of life. I wish more than anything I could be surrounded by those I love from Arizona. Until then, here I will be an urban homesteader — a title I will take with pride.