Our family had the wonderful good fortune of spending Christmas with my parents in the highlands of the remote American Redoubt. My parents live on the homestead where I was raised, amid glacier-fed creeks, alpine meadows and hundreds of miles of unbroken wilderness. Their home is one of singular beauty.
When I was growing up, we lived in an older, single-wide mobile home, that to my tastes, lacked character and charm. Years after I left home, my parents set about building their perfect retreat - a compact cabin with the capacity to house innumerable people should the need arise. When it is just the two of them, they raise the attic staircase and live comfortably in their two bedroom cabin with stunning views. When our considerably ample clan arrives, they lower the staircase, double their square footage and make room for a house-full.
The first few days spent in my parents home is something akin to staying in a 5 star resort. And then, the doors begin to get the best of me. Yes, the doors! In our home, we have large pieces of furniture separating rooms and curtains coverings the "doorways". While I often complain about the lacking doors, I have come to appreciate my curtains. Curtains never slam. You have no idea when the children go in and out of a room 15 times in a row. Never, do you have a child on one side of the curtains and a child on the other side, trying to use the curtains as a barrier - it just doesn't work!
|The view from my parents front porch|
It has been so long since I have lived in a "normal" house, that I have forgotten how stressful it is! When I lived in a house with hardwood floors and wall to wall carpeting, I worried about the kids coming into the house with snow all over their boots. Not in a shouse with concrete floors! When we had nicely painted, sheet-rocked walls, I worried about the kids scraping the walls with toys or wiping dirty hands on them. Not so in a shouse with no interior walls to worry about! When we lived in a house with doors, I was careful to make sure we didn't have kids behind closed doors (you never know what can happen!). In a shouse with no doors - well, it keeps honest kids honest.
|A mist rising from the creek|
We had a wonderful Christmas spent with our favorite people in the world - my parents. When all was said and done, I received the unexpected gift of contentment. I had the opportunity to see my "shouse" through new eyes and appreciate all of the unconventional "character" that I have been blessed with.
And now I know - doors are a highly over-rated commodity!