Oh hey, how are you doing? Did I ever tell you my ideal homestead? It changes, from time to time.
Recently Ming and I visited a new friend, and the backyard of her house was wonderful. There was some garden, a lemon tree, an amazing playhouse, a porch swing, and some workspace. But the thing I liked best about the backyard was the patio.
The porch swing was on the patio, as well as some chairs, some metal structure with swings for kids. My favorite was a chaise lounge. Yes, I lay there right away. I made a beeline for the chaise lounge, arranged the cushions, and lay there blissfully, starting at the sky.
Staring at the sky is one of my favorite things to do. It was a cloudy evening with storm clouds. My good friend Ariel was there too. She sat on the porch swing, and we had a quiet conversation as the kids played in the playhouse.
This was my idea of heaven. Staring at the sky, talking easily with my good friend Ariel, the kids ok, playing in the playhouse. Cookies were baking indoors–Ming was in there, helping with the cookie baking process. Yes, life was good, and I was suffused with pleasure.
Then a kid emerged from the playhouse and told us he was excluded for being a boy. He cuddled with his mom on the porch swing, and we talked about it. The girls went to a part of the playhouse that they declared for girls only.
“Did they tell you why?” I asked the kid. There could be a good reason, to want a girls-only space, but something told me they were just excluding him recreationally.
“No,” he said.
Then we asked the kid if he felt jealous. “What does that mean?” he asked.
I explained to Ariel and the kid how I used to think jealous and left out were the same thing, until I knew Ming. Ming can feel painfully left out, but he almost never feels jealous. So I’ve learned to invite and include him as much as I can, be clear about what I’m up to, and check in.
“You could be jealous if you really really wanted something, and then you didn’t get it, but someone else got it,” I said. “That painful feeling inside, when someone else gets what you really really wanted.” The kid was listening. “Or maybe that’s envy,” I said.
“It could be like getting kicked out of the playhouse?” Ariel said.
The kid seemed not too upset and played on the swings.
Then Ming came outside to say hello. I told him I loved the patio and maybe one day, could we have a patio like this at our house? He said yes. I asked him to take a picture to help us remember.
“Remember when we were at that airbnb in Pahrump, and they had a chaise lounge, and I was in love with it?” I asked Ming.
“Uh, no,” he said.
“Yeah! After I got that ultrasound procedure, those angel dogs were visiting me as I was crying, lying there, as the sun went down.”
“Oh yeah,” Ming said.
I explained how the patio felt safer from bugs. At our house, the garden means bugs are all over the place. At our house, I would be on a chaise lounge and fear a cockroach was going to crawl on me. Or cats would be on the chaise lounge all the time, and their hair would get on me, or a ton of flies would fly on me.
Flies can be anywhere, but something about the patio felt like a more indoor-outdoor place. Not that I want to avoid gardens–gardens are amazing. More like I want variety–garden space and outdoor not-garden space.
So that was a new desire and felt good to share with Ming. I paste here my updated ideal homestead list.
- private outdoor space to dance wearing little
- smells good
- no mold
- no bugs or mice indoors
- nothing broken
- no half-finished repair projects
- no pets
- no cactus / spiky falling hazards
- accessible to very fat people
- accessible to walkers, wheelchairs
- no stairs
- wide doors
- good toilets
- composting toilet option
- extra-large tub
- showers with hand-held showerhead
- good water pressure
- garden by door
- fruit trees
- comfy sturdy places to sit
- private space
- less-private space
- uncluttered areas
- indoor room to dance, do yoga
- high bookshelves
- cubbies to organize craft materials
- zine library
- rather clean–cleaning help weekly
- gas range and oven
- solar oven
- squishy mats in kitchen
- squishy mats in exercise area
- lots of light
- airflow opportunity–windows open
- solar panels
- laundry machines on site
- peaceful courtyard with shade
- bright colors
- room for bikes indoors
- storage shed
- water storage
- project space
- guest room
- extra fridge / freezer space
- good heat
- good cooling
- multiple places to be
- good place to park vehicles
- clean well water
- water filtration system
- grounded outlets
- reliable wifi
- prayer meditation room
- birds outside
- nice neighbors
- good elevation
- not in flood danger
- no mosquitoes with illness
- no scary cops around
- walking distance to fun
- less-bug patio with chaise longue
- porch swing