"Signora, between Austria and Italy, there is a section of the Alps called the Semmering. It is an impossibly steep, very high part of the mountains. They built a train track over these Alps to connect Vienna and Venice. They built these tracks even before there was a train in existence that could make the trip. They built it because they knew some day, the train would come."
~ From the movie, Under The Tuscan Sun ~
Based on the book by Frances Mayes
The train is coming...
When my marriage ended in the spring of 1999 I had no idea what my life ahead would bring. First I was too caught up in the emotions of the moment to think ahead, and then I was too afraid because I couldn't see ahead and I didn't think life would ever be anything approaching normal again. As the years have gone along I have imagined a thousand different directions I might like my life to go in, but I never dared dream of a full life, a happy one, and certainly not a house of my own. I never imagined it until I saw an old farmhouse in the middle of town. All of a sudden, my spirit lifted and I was swept away at the very thought of being able to live there. You see, this wasn't just any house. No, I have loved that house for the 15 years we've lived here. Now, alone, I see it as a place I could spend my life in and be happier than I ever thought possible. It's on the market now but hasn't sold, and I can't buy quite yet, but I can dream. I can build those train tracks in my mind, and believe that the train will come around those tracks just at the right time. Please dream with me. Say a little prayer and sprinkle a little magic fairy dust and imagine one woman, one big black dog, 4 little pugs, 6 parrots and one beta fish named Vincent living there (Not to mention the partridge in the pear tree!).
I can't remember when I've wanted anything this much and it is absolutely perfect for me. And I have wanted an old house all my life. It's not one of the fancy Victorians like they have downtown in the Historic district, it is a charming old farmhouse that has it's quirks and certainly some work to be done, but some already has been and it's very liveable.
You see, to me, an old house represents a past, history, and finding out today that the bottom of the house was built in 1856 (the rest in 1920) made it even more exciting. As an adopted child I've never felt that I had a sense of history, and I think that's why I've always loved old houses. I would love to learn the history of the house. I imagine the babies that were born there, those people who died there when their time had come, laughter and cooking and reading by the fire and I can see a big Christmas tree there. The places I have lived since leaving the marriage have been so small the last couple of years I haven't even had a tree. I want old ornaments and handmade ornaments and popcorn and cranberries, and pugs and Big Moe stretched out asleep by a fire as I crochet or spin yarn or read a book.
The floors are all hard wood, heart pine, and worn smooth with age. The house holds many memories, and has many secrets. I want to know them all. In this house many people have made love, have shared meals with friends, generations have lived together in this house as people once did, and at one time, this area of town having been agricultural, there was a real farm here. Those days are long past and it's on not much more than one third of an acre now, but this is perfect for me. Not a lot of ground to maintain, but perfect for a fenced yard for the dogs and a place to garden. The upstairs is perfect for a studio, a writing room, a sunny room for the parrots. I will work upstairs with the birds during the day and when I put them to bed at night I will creep down the stairs to my living quarters, dogs around me, and write and read and dream.
It's a sad time of life when one can't dream their way into the future and I felt that sadness for some time. And while none of us know what our future really holds, we can imagine the near future and pray for it and plan for it. And though there is work to be done on the dear old house, as I said, it's liveable, and the bathrooms and kitchen have been redone. It is a yellow house. It is sunshine itself. I feel it's rays warming my heart. I feel joy there. I sense great happiness is possible there. Oh dream with me please, and even more pray for me, and most of all, imagine me in it. I believe this sort of thing works, seeing myself there, walking about the rooms, spreading out, living my way into one room at a time.
I simply adore the movie Under The Tuscan Sun, because it is a woman alone after a divorce rebuilding her life and buying an old villa in Tuscany that is practically falling down, and in restoring it, and learning the area, and meeting people, a life grows and as it does, so does she. I need this house. It is not fancy, it is not in a ritzy part of town, it is in a comfortable part of town with old trees all around that haven't been leveled for a subdivision. It has a wrap-around porch that once was screened in and I can see screening it in again, and having a porch swing, rocking chairs, sitting there, under the deep shade of the trees and watching the world go by while I drink ice cold tea, write in my journal, knit, crochet, read, or visit with a friend. Yes, this is my house, this old yellow house. This is my dream. Help me dream it into reality won't you?
I have to go to bed now because it's nearly 2 a.m. and by 11 this morning little Harvey, my newest rescue pug, will arrive here from out of state to join our little pack. He's had a hard life and a lot of problems but his wonderful foster parents and good vet nursed him back to health and he will have a life here where he will be deeply loved and have other brothers and sisters to play with, and sit in Mama's lap and be kissed on the nose! I think Harvey and all the others would like to live in the yellow house too. Will you picture us there?
Thank you for listening. It's wonderful to have friends travel with you on your journeys.
Maitri, sleepy, happy, and taking my yellow house with me into my dreams....