New Season Inception

Here's to another new season, and new dreams.

I’m propagating cuttings from plants at our first mill house to plant at our second one, the one where we actually live. Fig, forsythia, honeysuckle, and Japanese maple. We’ve been living at Jones Street for seven months and in West Greenville for seven years. Back in 2013 we bought a white house at 15 Calder Street, next to the Brandon Mill. Back when we had a shop on Pendleton Street, and everyone was neck-deep in rebranding the area to the Village of West Greenville, paying homage to the nascent roots of our once-thriving mill village. We’d hoped it was the beginning of a revival here: artistic, business, and cuisine, and it has been. We’d hoped it was the beginning of our own tiny homestead; and it kind of was, but never at Calder.

After five-and-a-half years, we’ve finally decided to sell our little white house. A contractor is currently flipping it, adding a second bathroom, refinishing the 100 year-old hardwood floors, and updating the kitchen. It is heartbreaking to watch someone else complete what we never could, and yet there is hope for another future. Maybe another young family will live there and let me coach them on the beauty of niwaki pruning for garden trees or how the giant holly in back is perfect for a kids’ fairy village.

How could we try so, so hard to accomplish something, and fail so completely? If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know my heart and soul have been utterly tangled up in the idea of making that place home. We’ve planned every square inch of the interior, exterior, and yard. I have strong opinions about bathroom tile, Kohler Purist faucets, and integrated kitchen appliances because I’ve planned them all for Calder. Dreams that are vanishing like a scene from Back to the Future.

The black house at Jones Street is visceral, tangible, if imperfect. I know the smell of food cooking on the electric stove. The sound of my children’s voices bouncing off the wood floors and green walls. The orange of the Carolina clay blanketing the backyard, with tiny pops of green grass springing up in the new sunlight. It is better than Calder because we are here together. And no one is going to tell us we have to leave.

In May 2018 I prayed desperately for a new season for our family: an end to all the sickness, hospitalization, transient rental living, and depression. An end to living in debt. The Lord brought us to Jones Street, giving us our own home. Depression has subsided for innumerable reasons, praise God. Selling Calder will enable us to get out of debt. Sickness great or small seems to be a fact of having small children and aging parents, but right now the four of us are in the clear.

So here’s to another new season, and new dreams. Digging our roots deeper into the Brandon Mill Community and the Village of West Greenville, from the other side of the neighborhood.