Over the last four days I've mostly unpacked about ten thousand boxes. Only ten thousand more to go.
One minor tragedy: after warning the kids about the great big bristling catepillars I'd spotted in the garden, and describing the horrendous, man-o-war-type stings they inflict, I went to put some trash in the outside garbage can, lifted the lid and met the great big bristling catepillar that had been lurking under the handle. Thus the first words our neighbors heard out of me were shrieked and not very polite, but the subsequent swelling and need for ice impressed my children to no end.
I love nature. I love butterflies. But those catepillars? Are all going to die.
The neighbors do seem to be quite forgiving, as one came over last night to say hi and brought us a loaf of homemade bread. It was wrapped in a kitchen towel to stay warm, just like my mom used to do. People are already bringing me comfort food; I'm going to like it here.
The house seems huge. All of our furniture fits, and I keep finding closets I didn't know we had. The kitchen is a dream. I like to cook, and have enough pots, pans, appliances, utensils and dishes to accommodate feeding a modest army. After unpacking I still had empty cabinets and six feet of open counter space.
Wildlife: cardinals, jays, doves, wrens and finches hang out in our big oak tree. So does a large family of squirrels. One of our neighbors keeps chickens, so we wake up by rooster. Our kids have never heard real chickens before and think they're hysterically funny. A couple of sandhill cranes have taken up residence in the neighborhood somewhere and squabble a lot. There are mutant-size moths, dragonflies and grasshoppers, and lots of different frogs, wasps, flies and bumblebees, but so far I've only seen one orb spider.
A large horse came to watch me while I was out dead-heading some of the rose bushes this morning. It was only fifteen
It's after midnight. My feet are singing the Ave Maria, and I think I just hooked up Harry to Darth instead of Mrs. Peel. I can't find the coffee filters, my watch or my favorite sneakers, but those ten thousand boxes aren't going anywhere.
Doesn't matter. We're here. We're home.