my house is me and i am it

1075395_953829920068_303375294_o.jpg This photo is from August 1, 2013, the first night Greg and I spent in our apartment on Hoxsey Street. Today we are officially moved out, and moved into our first house.

That apartment was the first place we lived together. It’s where we lived when we got engaged. It’s where we spent our wedding weekend with several guests staying over in every nook and cranny– one of the best weekends of my life. It’s where we grew our family by adding two kittens, and also where we learned our family would be growing even more with the addition of a human baby. The first home Giles ever had. The first place I lived in that my mom never saw.

 

I never thought I’d buy a house. From my first night in New York City at age eighteen I knew I’d be an apartment gal for life, always renting, always ready to be on the move, not having to fix things like plumbing, calling the electric company when the pilot light went out.

Greg convinced me a house was the right move, and I started to understand why it might be nice. Rent money just disappears, this is an investment. More space for cats and babies. A yard. Painting the walls any crazy color I want. Putting more of ourselves into our space.

Now all our stuff is here, in our house. The walls are painted. Greg is hard at work on remodeling projects. The neighborhood is full of kids and quiet and crickets and an ice cream truck that comes around.

unnamed.jpg My mom’s paintings are hung. I hope she’s here, in the brightly colored walls and skeletons and songs and food we will eventually cook once the kitchen is done.

In both of these photos I am wearing the same pair of choo-choo overalls, that once belonged to my mom, now cutoff into shorts.

My house is me and I am it. My house is where I like to be and it looks like all my dreams.
~ Mr. Plumbean (The Big Orange Splot)

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the other side of the world

20160107_131913We went to Chile, my dad and I, to visit my sister, Phoebe. She lives in Futaleufu, in the Patagonia region which is way down south. I was nervous to travel so far while pregnant but Smokey did great and so did I.

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I love seeing Phoebe’s life. She’s made such a beautiful one.

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Of course we made art together. I sketched while Phoebe painted murals in her new house, we made a mosaic together in the kitchen.

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Here’s Phoebe working on her mural, looking just like our  mom.

There’s a kind of magic when we’re all together.

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How much does place matter, where we live? What is home? I think about these questions a lot.

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Phoebe in her greenhouse, and below is her garden on her land. 12494872_10100336620337287_7091185328840765845_n

 

 

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Some of my drawings from the trip:

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And now it’s time to begin my new beginning. It’s 2016. I’m leaving my job in six weeks. My baby will be born in four months. A whole new life full of unknowns.

colorado

It’s possible you’ve been wondering why I hadn’t blogged in a couple of weeks. Well, I was away on a trip. I went to Denver with my mom to visit some family. Denver is where my sister and I were born, and where we lived until I was thirteen.

When I’m in Denver, I feel something I don’t feel anyplace else.

It starts in DIA, which is my favorite airport. When it was first built, my aunt (who was a travel agent at the time) took me on a special tour there before it was open to the public.

at the airport There are other airport memories too.

rocky mountains

As soon as I step outside it’s the air. It’s not a smell, exactly, but how the air feels. And the sky is so big. Colorado is the only place I can fully stretch out my limbs.

Maybe there’s something to having a birth home. It’s where I’m from, where I was made, the first home I ever knew. I grew to my full height in that altitude, it’s the only place I was ever a kid. The mountains to the West were how I knew where I was.

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And Denver, the city. The skyline, the way dusk is. I’m not really sure what it is. I thought I knew while I was there, but I didn’t write it down and now I can’t quite grasp it. I guess it’s home is all.

denver sunset denver sunset 2 Home feels like a complicated issue for me. (Maybe it is for everyone.) It’s my little studio apartment by the river. It’s the cinema where I work. It’s my parents’ house. It’s New York City. That place I lived in San Francisco for two months. It’s my family. It’s laughing with my sister. It’s wherever I am? And it’s also Denver.

I did a lot of drawing while I was away, and will post those sketches soon.

Farewell Apt. Drawings #2

(See #1: work space)

Second installment of my farewell apartment drawings: the bathroom. I’d never drawn a bathroom before and I kept putting it off thinking it was going to be too hard for me, with all that perspective and the toilet, the tub, etc. Just too much! But then it came to me rather easily, as I looked at the space and moved the pencil on the paper. I love when drawing is like that: the drawing is already there– I am just excavating it with pen and pencil.

(ps – the “cat art” is by Katie Armstrong.)

Farewell Apt. Drawings #1

I’m moving next week! My new apartment is a 2 minute walk from this one, so not a huge move, but this place has been really important for me. For the past 9 months I’ve been living in my very first alone apartment, and that has changed my life in a way. Or maybe several ways. It’s a beautiful place, and I have loved living here.

While I’ve already done several drawings of things in this apartment, this week I am making some drawings with the intent of farewell. I want to acknowledge leaving this place. Where I grew up a little and discovered a lot.

So, here’s #1. It’s of my “work space.” Which is something I have rearranged many times in this one room studio, and only very recently settled on this arrangement, but I think it’s the best one.