The date has arrived... thirty years ago today my dad bought the farmhouse and land in rural Hillsborough, and today Matt and I are the co-owners of our first house in downtown Durham. My dad asked me to take a moment today and think about what my house and landscape have meant to me growing up, but I don't even have to try; I think about it all the time. I had 50 acres to tromp around on, thick grass to lie down in, woods to run full speed through and a big pond to swim in. I think of my home as a big, gentle friend who I love almost as much as I love anything. It has undoubtedly made me who I am.
And as much as I love the farm, I also grew up with more of a taste in my mouth for the urban landscape. Durham is not Boston, and it's certainly not New York (which honestly I'm glad for; I'm a little tired of Boston and I don't think I have the energy right now for New York), but it is still a city; the house on Mallard is a mere three blocks from the downtown loop. There will still be noises to deal with (instead of the braying of donkeys I grew up with), traffic to fight (though I plan to stay out of a car as much as possible), and also the wonderful benefits like walkable amenities, interesting people around all the time, businesses that will come and go, opportunities for fun and cul-cha.
Last night Matt and I sent my parents out to dinner at Tosca as a thank you for making the purchase with us, and therefore making it possible, and together we split a bottle of champagne and toasted our good fortune, which is really what it feels like. (I can feel the house's damp foundation mockingly laughing at us, just waiting for us to see what's in store.)
Today we've been deluged with emails from Durhamites welcoming us to the hood. Many of them, I'm almost shy to say, I already "knew" by reading their blogs or hearing of their music or their involvement in things. It felt great.
Here's another post from a Durham blogger whose writing I really like. It bothers some people that being "green" is "trendy" now, particularly those who've believed that living environmentally consciously is just the right thing to do for years. But I love it. I say, who cares about the motives - can you imagine how great it would be if folks who previously sat in their cars in traffic to go five miles home would start biking home instead, even if only for the trendiness factor? Especially if it actually makes a difference to the earth? More marketing, I say. Let 'em all scramble to put out their "green issues" and hire "conservation consultants" so they can boast about it in their annual review. This is all a little off-topic from the aforementioned post, but it's what it made me think about.
We missed the neighborhood house tour, and I'm struggling to find time to arrange repairs and other work from my post 700+ miles away, but it's only two months now. My feet are itching to move.