Tuesday, August 7, 2012


My parents raised me to be humble. Selective. And, discreet. If things were going well, we didn't need to brag. And if they weren't, it was nobody's business but ours.

I remember as a kid asking why, since my parents are pretty religious, we didn't go to church on Sundays. My mother always replied, "Church is for the neighbors to know you believe in God. We pray, so God knows we do." It made perfect sense at the time. (Though I always suspected that sending me to catholic school for 13 years was a bit of insurance on their part.)

Our way of life has always been just my style. Modest. Simple to understand. Easy to follow. Until, of course, I started Meandering.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've struggled with deciding the events in my life that would make appropriate posts, and those that, as a Varela, undoubtedly would not. Frustrations with friends and family. Disagreements at home. Struggles at work and at school.

I'll let you guess from the number of recent posts where I landed in most—nay, ALL—cases.

Since we broke ground on May 1, the big hole has been a physical manifestation of the struggle between my public and private self. Every eye in the village trained squarely on the doings at 300 Cochran Road. Every wheel barrow of cement, every 2x4, a glimpse behind the curtain that is our life.

"You know those people walking their dogs or out for a run?" asked a woman that is also in the process of building a house in town. "You know they all sneak in at night to check the place out, right?" I had suspected, but I'd hoped it wasn't true.

So for three months, I've felt out of control and totally exposed.

But then today, things felt different. The siding is nearly done and painting is well under way.  All of the windows are installed, and—best of all—the doors in.

As I walked into what will soon be our mudroom, the house, behind closed doors, was warm and quiet. For the first time since this whole adventure started, the place really felt like home. And while I know, the super curious will still find themselves trying to peer in, I'll keep telling myself that from here on out, whatever happens inside is nobody's business but ours.

The big house
takes shape
with the help of friends.


  1. It's really a very handsome house, Maria. Congrats!

    1. For what it's worth: there will be at least 1,000 people who know how many cans of paint we'll need, too.


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