We live in a tin box on top of a hill.
I’m reminded of it every time we get a windstorm, and every time we get a rain, as it sways and rocks on its foundation. I’m reminded of it every time we get a hot day, with its lack of opening windows and proper circulation.
We live in a small space, where you can hear just exactly what’s going on in the bedroom, as it’s only 6 feet from the kitchen, and with a bathroom in between that, there’s no secrets there, either.
It forces us to be close. It demands us to pay attention.
It also requires that things be put in a place, or else it looks like a hurricane swept through. And realistically, that’s the usual case.
But this place is home.
The flexing bones of these four walls support the growing bones of the humans inside it. It holds space for tears, sweat and smiles. It holds space for laughter, music and meals. It holds space, just enough, for us.
Our home is where the dirt swipes across the white bathroom cupboards remind me of the time the kids went mud sliding. It’s where the dent in the softwood floors acts as a marker for the place beside which Millie learned to stand. It’s a place that plays host to sharpie marker on the walls, as Wren perfected writing her name for the first time.
It’s the place it all happens, here in this tin box.
And it’s not perfect, but it’s ours.
We can’t really host visitors here because of its size, but that’s both a pro and a con, and we don’t have a dryer because we needed space for a chest freezer to put last autumn’s cow in.
We only have six kitchen cupboards and only one closet for storage, but there’s a shed brimming with all the shit we don’t need just ten steps away.
We can’t host a Christmas tree like the ones of my childhood’s past, but there is just the spot for a Charlie Brown one, and the instruments make for a practical moving art exhibit, homing themselves against the living room walls.
There’s a secondary door that has never opened and the bedroom windows are too foggy to see through, but they open just fine enough to let the summer breeze through, or an unexpected rain, and are nearly close enough to our neighbour’s place to be able to touch their cow and new calf.
Our bed, built custom to fit, plays magical host to the fort game, the board games, the sicky days and Wren’s “baby game,” where she and her friend take turns pretending to be in labour. By no small coincidence, it’s where our Millie was both conceived and birthed into the world, in the most real way.
Looking to our left we can see Little Mush a Mush lake just beyond our fenced in front paddock, and to our right we see our apple trees, valley and green-ish pasture, with the horses and cows welcoming themselves to the buffet. Our clothes billow in the wind on the clothesline on the perimeter of the deck, which the chickens consider their second home.
The cat meows, the cows moo. The chickens cluck and the rooster crows. There is always a pair of underwear on the living room floor. There is always a child crying. There is always a child on my body.
This home contains that imperfect story. And it’s an ongoing one.
And though this tin box is only temporary, as Justin currently works on the timbers and joinery for our new planned home from the felled trees in our own backyard, it serves us just fine. Though it’s too small, too stinky, too old and too impractical, it’s been just great.
When the new house is built, I will still miss this.
Because this house is our home. And it’s both a moving picture and an archive of each of our memories since the day we claimed it as our own two and a half years ago.
It’s not just where we live, but it’s where my babies grow.
And that makes this tin box our blessing.