23 North Lime

{an ode to the first home sweet home I ever made- inspired by snow and being stuck here}

 

23 North Lime.

My first home away from home. The only big move I ever really made, besides Baltimore to Lancaster…but being 8 at the time those memories are fuzzy. This little apartment, one fourth of a house in downtown Lancaster, seemed fine for me-on my own-with my roommate, but I’d always envisioned a full sized house when I pictured marriage. Then again, I never pictured marriage as a college student…or anywhere near college age. As we dream and save and consider the next step, I think about our space. The place where so many firsts have been, and will be, experienced. The place where we laugh, and cry, and snuggle, a lot. We have created a life in this place, and I truly do love it.

You know that saying,

what I love most about my home is who I share it with~

At the risk of being totally cliche, I’d say I am experiencing this. 

 The beauty of where we live is the people above and beside us. The neighbors up and down the street. The friends we’ve grown closer to as we just share life together. Where else could I move that exchanging a cup of orange juice for a fresh baked cookie is relatively easy and perfectly normal? Or where most of the coffee shops in town have been or once were represented. (I exaggerate. We’re talking Prince Street & Starbucks, but that’s enough for me. 🙂 )

Snow days are my favorite part.

Everything stops. The city is pretty terrible at plowing us out, so we’re stuck. But we’re not stuck alone. Days off mean Settlers tournaments, using each other’s Netflix accounts, bombarding snowball attacks upon exiting the building and the treacherous trek to Prince Street Cafe for that tenth cup of coffee. Opening the door to an empty fridge means gearing up for a two minute walk to Roaring Brook Market, at least for eggs and milk. And baking treats is perfectly acceptable because there is always someone who will eat them. Even in an ice storm the nice old doctor who parks next to me was salting my front step. I think that maybe this is the closest thing I’ll ever feel to living in an old-fashioned small town. (At least I like to pretend it is. Maybe I should start churning my own butter on the cement block I call my porch 🙂 ). The best parts are the evenings, when we all gather what we’ve got and create a meal together. Homemade soft pretzels & cocoa, breakfast for dinner, soup-salad-&-bread.

There’s something so cozy about knowing who you are surrounded by. About loving the people you live with, and about calling the friend upstairs for a cup of coffee during a “blizzard.” 

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On Monday I had an epiphany. I’m really gonna miss this. Someday, when we’re out of the city, when our home stands alone, I will treasure the memories of 23 North Lime. The annoyance of a full dryer outweighed by the joy of a new baby. The frustration of trash forgotten erased by spontaneous tightroping at the park. These are the moments we create, and we will never forget. 

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real life | sweet fairytales | joy.

“maybe the good life isn’t a fairytale…”

-some random radio station

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That’s ridiculous, I thought, as I’m driving along at a painfully slow speed on Lititz Pike. (For those of you who ever
try to enter Lancaster City from this route, you understand me. It is however a great deterrent from frozen yogurt and craft stores.)

So i’m thinking, that quote is absurd, life is beautiful, life is a fairy tale, that is the good life.

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I am a girl who loves beauty, I love beautiful clothes, keeping a beautiful home, aiming to look beautiful.

I am a girl who loves perfection, I love perfect weather, perfect days, perfect meals in a perfectly clean kitchen.

sounds magical, right?

I am a girl who cries, I cry when I burn bread, I cry when I shrink a shirt, I cry when my face breaks out ( I am being very candid here.)

I am a girl who fears, I fear a messy home, I fear a failed dinner, I fear a fight or a bad day.

and just like that, the magic is gone.

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I am learning, slowly learning, that I can’t rely on a fairy tale life to bring me joy. I can’t avoid fights with my husband to keep us “happy,” I can’t always coordinate our outfits in public (and it’s not the end of the world if I don’t), and I can’t make perfect dinners from now until I die.

Where are my margins? Where is my room for mistakes?

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My mind…that quote…passing from immediate judgment and scorn to a breath, a thought, I wonder…

What if I changed my perspective of “the good life,” what if I redefined “fairytale?”

fair-y tale, noun ; a story about magical and imaginary beings and lands,

~

fair-y tale, noun ; a beautiful illusion, something that comes of dreaming, but nothing of substance. For true life, true magical living comes moment by moment- it is not an overarching image of perfection, it is living life with the ones you love…gracing yourself with room for imperfection…openness and honesty…experiencing the reality of life with a new frame of mind.

The good life is NOT fairytales.

The good life is raw, open, honest | joy.

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***for those of you curious about my scorned tone at points,

(specifically the mention of culinary disasters),

to you I say one thing-

never try bread in a crock pot. the crock pot is good, not that good.