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Today is the nineteenth month anniversary of the wildfire that burned our house. We thought we would be back in a house within 8-10 months. At 19 months I still cannot tell you when we will live in our house proper. We are supposed to be able to put paint to our little basement apartment day after tomorrow but that is just yet another partially finished thing.

small black stoolToday I finished the first thing I have finished for our homecoming. Over the past nineteen months I have done tons of work but nothing ever gets finished. It is dependent on some other thing that has not happened yet. We have two warehouses full of things that are partly done. I have curtains and curtain rods but no walls. I have walls but no shower enclosures. I have some furniture but all of it needs some repair or putting together or painting or something.

This evening I went up to the house when I thought everyone would be gone. One person was there and we spoke briefly but mostly I had the house to myself. It was my first alone-visit since we have had walls. I busied myself with measuring things and trying not to freeze. It was very cold but we are down to inches at this point so everything must fit exactly. Sophie loves her house but she does not love cold. She started to slink down the stairs to see if by magic the car door where he blanket was might open to admit her.

Mom caught her early-slink. I told her to come back. I was working in the kitchen which is open to the dining and living rooms. I looked over just as she walked to the open sliding glass door that rests a full story off the ground and sat down in a peaceful pose and looked. She sat there looking for 30 minutes before we both decided it was too cold to stay. While she sat quietly looking out her window I walked around feeling the same peacefulness. The house is a special place. It imbued me with its quiet calm tonight. I had not thought it would be like that. Given that I have only been around when everyone is busy as beavers working on it I could understand missing the complex relationship the house has with the place and I with both.

I like what it is going to be. It is still partly finished but I can see what it is. I don’t have to see what it is going to be. It is. Like my black stool, my house exists.