We’ve been in our new house in Maine for about three weeks now. I feel like every house has it’s own personality. This one definitely does with it’s old school charm, high ceilings and tall windows, even the creaky hardwood floors tell their own story. We’re still unpacking, stuff…so much stuff!! Still figuring out where we want everything, hanging curtains, painting rooms, figuring out what remodels we want to do, enjoying all the light and brightness.
And we’ve been cooking our own delicious food in our own kitchen again. Lovely.
It was weird living in a hotel and not really knowing anyone for nine weeks. Boy was it nice to get into our home and be in a neighborhood.
We moved in on a weekend. A few coworkers from Greg’s work helped him unload all of our boxes and furniture from our storage unit. One of them even came laden with tomato soup and spinach quiche from his wife.
The first Monday we were there, one of our neighbors came over and brought us ginger snap cookies. Delicious ginger snap cookies still warm from the oven. The kids couldn’t get over how spicy-good they were. We ate them for breakfast, snacks and dessert.
The next day we had several inches of snow. We didn’t even own a snow shovel yet. I know, what were we thinking?? Maine in the winter, we knew we’d need a shovel eventually. I’m going to chalk it up to a combination of things, hotel brain, plus all the hurdles we went through to actually close on the house.
At some point Greg and I either didn’t believe we’d close, or we didn’t want to jinx ourselves. Plus we were sick, so sick. The weekend before we actually closed the kids had such high fevers and horrible flu that it scared me. Greg and I got the fever and the cough and I don’t think I’ve ever been so sick or so weak from being sick. The bones in my back hurt anytime I moved, coughed, breathed.
So, a shovel wasn’t even a blip on the radar for us.
But that first Tuesday in our new house, as I got the kids ready to leave for school, I looked outside to see another neighbor snowplowing our sidewalk, while his wife swept our front steps. Later that afternoon, Tommy Quinn, such a great Irish name, came and plowed our driveway just because he usually plows his mom’s, who lives next door to us, and he kindly cleared ours too.
A few nights later another neighbor brought us a loaf of chocolate pecan zucchini bread. Mmm hmm, it was as delish as it sounds. Lily and I dueled over the last slice it was so good.
I mean, people, our neighbors are so nice! Like nice in a way I believe the world is, but lately, it seems, I have to search hard to find.
I knew once we got unpacked and organized we’d want to take something to all our neighbors to thank them. Lily and I have been on a macaron baking frenzy again. (They should call them, Most Ridiculous Sensitive Cookie Ever. I swear they turn out differently every time.) But we’ve had a few good batches and they are just so darn cute that it seemed like the perfect gift to give the neighbors.
Kindness spreads kindness doesn’t it? Just like hate spreads hate. I’ll take kindness please.
It was so much fun, and silly fun, as things usually are with my kids. Jasper was literally bouncing off the walls and the snowbanks and the sidewalks. The first house we visited was an old bungalow style that transported me to South Pasadena in a heartbeat. Inside some of the walls still have tiny built-in cupboards and drawers which Jasper found fascinating. I, of course, fell in love with the old wood-burning kitchen stove and cooktop, I mean I was drooling.
At another house, the woman who made us the zucchini bread just happens to be the grandmother of a boy in Lily’s class and said the next time her grandson is over, Lily is welcome to come over and play. Another neighbor offered us a contact for a babysitter. Yes please! We need a babysitter like years ago!!
So much kindness floating around. It warmed me up and made me happy.
I’d love to say it made me as happy as making macarons, but those cookies, tiny as they are, are crazy difficult to get right. The absolute best recipe I’ve found for the cookie itself is at Food Nouveau. And I’m in love with the Lemon Buttercream filling at Sweetandsavorybyshinee.com. I think the charm of these cookies and the gazillions of ways to color and decorate them have me hooked, no matter how picky they are when baking. They’ve become like art to me. I don’t even care about eating them as much as the kids do, I just like to make them for people. And they sure make people happy when you hand-deliver them.