As late autumn waxes and wanes, occasionally sidling up to fog the windows and frost the shrubbery out front, I can't help but feel excited about the upcoming holiday revelry that always means celebratory feasts and community. I've never been too irked by winter because it means fresh activities, new foods, and much togetherness. Not only that, but I'll have my husband by my side this holiday, which will be the dearest part yet.
The last two months have been the sweetest gift I've ever received. Marriage is better than I could have ever guessed, and also a lot different than I thought it would be. But in the best of ways. I like living with this man, and I feel almost tearfully blessed by the community we have here in Saint Paul and Minneapolis--so many that helped us get up and off the ground and into our new home. I'm seeping it in--taking great lungfuls of this thing that is our life currently.
With marriage comes moving, and we're (almost) unpacked into our apartment on the third floor of a big Victorian-era house that was refurbished into four separate apartments. Nancy, our neighbor in the apartment below us, lives alone with her two little dogs, and most nights, we can hear the Antiques Roadshow blasting from behind her door, which she never completely latches. We take this to mean that she's trying to communicate nonverbally that she trusts us implicitly and that we will stand together as neighbors, borrowing cups of flour to one another and leaving notes one each other's doors when we leave on trips, as neighbors do. One time, she left us a note and signed her name and cell number, along with her dogs' names as well. She mentioned in her P.S. that they don't have cell phones, which disappointed us greatly because we were hoping to hook them up with Joseph.
Jeff, the maintenance man, is the friendliest soul and is always around fixing this or that around the older parts of the house. He's currently redoing all the flooring in the apartment below us, and sometimes we can hear him faintly as we're falling asleep and then again at the crack of dawn when we wake up. He must work all night! It's comforting when he lights a bonfire out back in the evening, and we can hear it crackling outside the little elf door that leads out to our fire escape.
Speaking of fire escapes, that's the only way we can get furniture into our place because of the narrow, curving stairwells and the fact that the door to our apartment is tucked into this curved nook in the wall. We happily embrace the exercise that climbing up to our door requires, but we're having to get creative in how we bring things up. When we got our couch, Elsie and I just left and went for a walk, while Chris, Drew, and Max hauled the sofa up the twisting metal stairs out back. I didn't want to watch that, and I didn't focus too much on the fact that they had to heave and yank it through the tiny elf door and over our entire bed to reach the living room. They were hearty about it, and we came home to find them enjoying some pumpkin muffins and libations and regaling their moving expedition.
On another note! Have you heard of Tapestry Magazine? It's a community of women writing to tell the truth and say how it really is. To speak out about feeling alone or anxious or the struggle of warring against your own heart and thoughts. It's about getting out of the way and letting God write your story and make it the beautiful woven thing that He is crafting. Tapestry sheds light in dark places, and rallies women to join together and fight the dark side by side.
To me, it's a dream come true that I get to work alongside deep, soul-searching women who really care but also love words and crafting beauty. Head on over to the Tapestry website to get the third and final online preview issue, CULTIVATE, and keep an eye out for our very first print issue, coming in January!