… on the definition of home


Maine Waking Up to Spring

There’s lots of ‘stuff’ going on in Maine right now.

At The Inn (ever-ready caveat: It’s not really an Inn, but it was in the early 1900s, so we call it that, and also we had a sign made that said “Old Southport Inn; Circa 1840”, but that was completely misleading and caused quite a bit of confusion so we added “A Private Residence”, which sounds snooty (because who wants to live in a ‘residence’, not me that’s not who, but ‘Go away, this is our house and you sleeping here would make us feel wHierd’ sounded worse. And also it didn’t fit on the sign.)

So… The Inn.

There’s a lot going on up there as we ready it for our set-in-concrete plan to be there full time, which may or may not take place in, like, two or three years.

Which doesn’t sound so set-in-concrete when you say it out loud, does it?

I say ‘may or may not’ for a wide variety of reasons which (wHich) includes the fact that we tend to hang out with (in the ‘live-with’ sense) Granny and Grampa (a.k.a., the Old Yankee Man).

So there is this ongoing conversation, which the Nearly Perfect Husband (a.k.a., JoHn) and I are constantly engaged in and both love.

Seriously, we love talking about this. It’s ridiculous how much we love it.

We talk about where we want to live, what makes sense, how it will all work out, where Grampa will be happiest (and what if it isn’t Maine (Granny is far more flexible but loves to be near water and reading, which lines up with things I like too so this is excellent news)), and on and on and on.

We do this because we know we all know that we are going to leave the Disposable Shack (the house in Dunstable) because it was always disposable in that it is way too big now that the kids are gone.

So the plan has been to go to Maine, to The Inn.  A good plan, we think.

But the ongoing conversation often gets a ball tossed out of left field.

Like yesterday, when we were going to leave the Disposable Shack (the Dunstable house), and the The Inn and be closer to family on a day-to-day basis because wouldn’t that be nice for Granny and Grampa.  We thought maybe near Cape Cod but not on Cape Cod (because of traffic and wanting our town to be not ‘dead’ in the winter).  So we spent hours – yes hours talking about how perfect that idea would be.  And yes I know how ‘first world problem’ this sounds and it is not really a problem at all, just a fantasy about living in the imaginarily perfect town right there near the water and close to humans we sort of like.

That was opposed to the day before, when it was a perfect idea find a farm somewhere (okay, was finding a farm somewhere, because that sounds absolutely fantastic and magical to me, but makes JoHn break out in hives because he knows he will actually be my farm hand, and the one to truck water out to the animals in the dead of winter while I make sure the fire in the fireplace is… well… burning properly.)

Also, I need a farm for my future chickens, and I want one with lots and lots of land that we could carve up for our kids if they ever wanted to live near us, or we wanted to import them (and also it would need a stream or a pond that would meet Granny’s and my water requirement).

JoHn should come around to my logic any day now, as my rationalizations are that powerful.

*note: I should add that these conversations are fantastical and assume that houses and taxes are totally affordable, that our house would sell lickity split for exactly what we want for it (because that happens all the time, right?) and that any town/city/farm hamlet we choose will be absolutely perfect and full of people who are wonderful and totally get my sense of humor and other strange eccentricities. Again, fantasy.

But then, each time – after all of our imagine-astical gymnastics – we always seem to remember that we love the house in Maine and our hearts sing there.

So, we may just stick with the current plan, which goes like this: 1. Sell Disposable Shack in 2-3 years. 2. Move to Maine (The Inn) with Granny and Grampa.


It is a wHierd thing to be making plans that may or may not have both Granny and Grampa coming with us. It’s an emotional realization for sure, and Grampa has been declining lately.  It’s nothing specific (all the specifics have been investigated and scanned and talked about with his docs).  He’s just got eighty-six not-so-gentle years under his belt.

That being said, I also have the feeling that he has the capacity to outlive us all. Because Old Yankee Men are that stubborn.

This makes planning difficult.

Granny and Grampa have both said that they want to move, with us, in a couple of years, to our house in Maine. The coast of Maine was where they vacationed, with their own children, beginning more than fifty years ago.  It is a place infused in their, JoHn’s, and his brother’s and sisters’, hearts and minds (and absolutely had a major influence on us buying our house there).

But will they both be able to?

Will it be just one of them?

Or neither?

I know. It’s an awful consideration to have to… well… consider.

Do we never get to Maine (or the farm with the pond and stream, or another ocean destination… or maybe a small apartment in a city and we could just travel (no, that won’t work with the dogs… where was I?))


And then there’s the question, when we have launched our kids but still are caring for/feel responsible for our parents, how do we balance still living our own lives while supporting them at the end of theirs, especially if they are not mobile, are dealing with medical conditions, or are just Old Yankee Men at heart?

But wait.

They are incredibly important parts of our own lives.

And life changes all the time.

Unexpected forks arrive in the road.

Consider… or agonize?

JoHn and I consider.

And we talk.

Like, a lot.

We imagine and wonder and absolutely indulge in a bit of (sometimes a lot of) magical thinking:

Me: “Oh-my-gosh we should get a farm! And we can get a HORSE! And then Grampa can feel like he is a part of working on the farm, and the horse!”

JoHn: “Has Dad ever talked about horses?”

Me: “No.” pause “But he did tell us that story about castrating pigs once!”

JoHn: “We are not getting a farm.”

Me: “Okay.” pause again “We can revisit that later.”

JoHn’s turn to sigh.

We are accepting the day-to-day of living with Granny and Grampa, while doing projects in Maine that make sense to do. Having a bedroom and a full bathroom on the first floor might be handy one day, even for us.  We will probably wait on reality-izing the kitchen (kitchenette?) and sitting room ideas for now. We’ll wait and see how Grampa is doing in the next six months or so.

And you know what? If Maine doesn’t work for us, all of us, it doesn’t work. Maybe we sell it. Today, I don’t want to consider it for real, but I know that I would be okay if that becomes the right answer.

Because “home” is all about the people we love, not the places we live.

And I love an Old Yankee Man (and Granny, and – oh ya! – JoHn) so we’ll figure it all out.

Plus, it’s not like we won’t have other adventures if Maine doesn’t happen.

And they will totally involve chickens.

And maybe a horse, and a pig and lots of land and a barn and …. oh no! Shhhhhh!

I think I hear JoHn coming…

Thanks for readin’.


Come on over to Just Ponderin’s Facebook page to comment <3