My mother-in-law calls our house “The Cabin.” While it’s just a modified ranch, I suppose it’s as close as we can get. The inside has tongue-and-groove pine ceilings, hardwood floors and earthy colors. Deer heads and turkey fans line the walls while Budweiser mugs gather dust on high shelves. Moose and deer antlers, found throughout the years, are placed artistically on a corner shelf, some large enough to touch the vaulted ceiling. My grandfather’s old fishing rod is displayed along with pictures of him in his youth. Running on high, long shelves on opposite walls is my complete Yale collection of Shakespeare, sitting (mostly) idle. Tins in the shape of Big Ben, a London phone booth and a London post box sit randomly among the kids’ art projects from years past. Old world Santas, a Scottish bagpiper–my shelves have it all. Even a picture of the bard himself. Just like my marriage, I’d say my home is more like a mellowed blend of Hunting Cabin and English Cottage.
And it doesn’t end at the door. Sitting on the deck, I’m surrounded by culture. Thai Basil, German Thyme, Italian Parsley and what promises to be a beautiful eggplant. Cherry tomatoes are ripening on the vine as bee balm dries (reluctantly) on the clothes line. If I look off to my left past the small, Mexican pottery chimenea, I can see a plethora of green spilling over the edge of the raised beds and mixing with tall daisies; bright yellow squash blossoms bursting towards the sun and promising an abundant harvest. The view to my right is blocked by a large, stainless steel grill. Even as it sits idle, I can almost feel heat coming off it.
But it’s all good. The mix of his and mine mingle together throughout our lives to make the perfect melody. Our children, prime examples of our mixed personalities, are (of course!) the ideal mix of us. They hunt and fish yet they study other languages, watch foreign films and even enjoy the theatre. (Well, Bethany does anyway) We’ve traveled to Ireland and can’t wait to return; the quintessential travel vacation for our family! Next? Tuscany or the countryside of France. If money were no issue of course.
In this life you don’t always get what you want, but if you try real hard, sometimes, you get what you need. I may not have the ivy-covered cottage in the Cotswolds of England and my husband may not have that log cabin stuck out in the middle of the woods, but what we do have is the simple mix of a loving family in a modest house. And that’s good enough for me.