Sometimes a toy isn't a toy
My beloved Declan and I have made three major relocations since we became a couple in 2010. Our most recent was a move from Missouri to Maine. Each home has required extensive work, and our current house is the biggest challenge yet. It's a wonderful building with a tin roof and seven gables, built in 1900 and owned by a single family until us. The most recent resident was a nonagenarian, so maintenance and general upkeep slid into oblivion a decade or two ago. It's a heaping pile of projects and decades-old grime.
We returned to our beloved New England without knowing where we were going to land, and spent three months evaluating locales. Our funds are extremely limited and real estate is not cheap, so we had to make hard choices, but a few things were must-haves. Proximity to healthcare and culture. Minimal distance from mountains and oceans. A bit of land in which to putter. A fence to keep the pups safe. Heat. Running water. Roof. Foundation.
And a tractor for Declan.
The fence will be installed in a few weeks, and the black and gold beast in the photo arrived today. We joke about it being Declan's toy. But sometimes a toy isn't a toy.
After two other homes fell through, we ended up in this seven-gabled house, with all it's warts and wrinkles. We'll be busy for years, cleaning, restoring, painting, fixing, propping up. These things weren't already done for us because we chose to have a tiny bit of land. We want to plant things. And take the dogs around for sniffs. And clean up the woodsy bits. And mow the parts that remain grass rather than transforming into garden or prairie.
When mobility is impacted, these activities are things you watch rather than do. And that's not okay, which is why when we budgeted and prioritized, we chose a house in which a single living room corner is a multi-day project.
Because sometimes a toy is not a toy, it's a requirement.