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  • Writer's picturePlaying House

Staying Put

In my 20s I had a serious case of wander lust. Not only did I want to travel the world to see different cultures in the U.S. and abroad, but I was also too antsy to stick with a job or living situation. I had a max tolerance for routine that capped at about 6 months. Bypassing the psychological reasons that one would want to escape from one's life so frequently, this bad habit left me relationally and financially stunted.

Then . . . I met my husband. I wandered all the way to Savannah Georgia to get my masters in painting #scadisthebest and before I could make another break for it, I met Michael. There's nothing like falling in love to stop you in your tracks. I managed to wander a few more times, back to Chicago to get married and then to Quincy, Illinois to help start a restaurant (my husband is an amazing chef). Because of obligations and Michael's strong work ethic, we stayed put in Quincy for 13 years. The nail in my wander lust coffin was buying our first house.

The house was a simple white Sears-made bungalow, and though it needed a lot of work, I adored it. Perhaps it a primal feeling to want claim one's own piece of earth, like the pioneers who perilously journeyed west to get their stakes in the ground. Every six months I would still get antsy, google the stats and jobs of other cities, but never the less I remained rooted. Since then I change furniture location or wall paint to chase away my nomadic tendencies.

So here I am 14 years later, Quincy has released me and I get to wander in a new town with a new house; a "new to us" historic 2 story Craftsman in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We've been married 15 years, became 3 kids richer, managed 2 mortgages, renovated a house, owned a business, paid bills on time, paid our taxes with dilligence and yet I STILL feel like I am just "playing house". I am a child with responsibilities. Domesticity is an ideology that I struggle with as a modern woman, but I have slowly found that I love the process of making a home.

This is not your 1950s version of making a home. I am not a frilly "homemaker" but a handy ma'am with an arts degree. I love working with my hands which means a lot of gardening, carpentry, organizing and, of course, making things beautiful with artwork from all mediums.

Above is a portrait in oil of my meek Quincy bungalow and below is my current craftsman on bungalow crack - a homestead that this gypsy is very grateful for.

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