We found a home, a real home, a homey home. Finally, we will move into a place where I can unpack my cappucino-maker and pretty dishes from Czechoslovakia and Paul can unpack his 10-speed and cast iron and Elsa can unpack her clothes and art supplies and Greta can unpack the hammock where she likes to play her guitar and Ingrid can unpack her bike and Dagne can unpack her toys.

The house is, like most Harris houses, a geographical oddity — 15 minutes from everywhere. But there is acreage, which may, God-willing, lead to a horse for Dagne. There is a barn and long, country roads for Ingrid to ride her bike. There is a view of the seven Cascade mountains of Central Oregon and pastoral settings for Greta’s romantic, nostalgic soul. It’s located half-way between Elsa’s school and Elsa’s sports and just a four-wheeler ride away from her friend’s house (yes, it comes with a four-wheeler). And for Paul …

the barn door swung open. A Monty-Python-holy-grail angelic singing filled the barn. A light shone through like a halo illuminating … a tractor.

I should have known it was all over at that point. The decision had been made. The neighbor locked up the house and left. We stood there for awhile and Paul pretended to debate over the various choices of homes. I checked on the girls who were playing volleyball in the front yard. When I returned, Paul was gone. I spotted him, hands in his pockets, walking toward the barn. I followed him. When I got there, he was staring at it. Then, he climbed into the seat. That’s when I realized that the decision was made. I should have caught it before, but I was not interested in the tractor. I was thinking about the miles in the car, driving to and fro. I was thinking about the ceramic stove, when I wanted gas. I was thinking about the big-ness of the house, the tons of cleaning, the lack of simplicity. Everywhere I looked, I saw work and wondered how my writing would survive it.

But then there was Dagne’s squeal of delight, and Elsa’s relief, and Greta’s singing, and Ingrid’s energy, and Paul’s old Texas-rancher dream being dusted off and shined up.

I was outnumbered. We looked at the other options. They were simple little houses near town. Nice. Tidy. Without yard work and within walking distance of most activities. But that was it. The romance was lacking. As Elsa put it,

Mom, we’ve always been happiest when we lived in the middle of nowhere.

I gave in. They were right. The home was right for our family. It was a better fit for who we are.

Ironically, it was my writing that brought it to us. Thank you, reader and friend, J–, who brought us to this lovely place! We plan on having some happy, thankful, healing times within it!

And, thank you, Dave, for the use of your home in the interim which gave us time to find the perfect place.

Thank you to all who prayed for us or wished us well!

We move in this week.