As you know, I wasn't looking to buy a house but somehow Parchment House found me.  On my way to the bar one day I, daydreaming, missed my turn.  I pulled quickly into the semi circular drive of a house just past the turning and noticed it had a ‘for sale’ sign up.  I looked at the house, glanced at the barn, got out of the car and felt gripped with a sensation I can only liken to clapping eyes on a man for the first time knowing you have to be with him.  I was tingling, alert but fuzzy, confused by my reaction, a little afraid and most of all aware of a deep sense of determination that had set into my bones like mortar to a brick.
In a new relationship romance is everything.  The notion of being in love, of being excited by an unfolding mystery, intrigued by the sense of discovery and feeling giddily disconnected to reality, all this keeps you moving forward despite odds.  You hope you will always be in love and romance is crucial to this.
I am 39 days away from my one year anniversary of buying Parchment House and despite all the odds I am still in love, though it is a little more grown up now. I think this is partly due to the nature of the process of designing, planning and construction.  There is constant engagement, steps to take, decisions to be made, the relationship is forged, even though sometimes it feels like it has a life of its’ own.  Some days you feel it’s running away from you, some days it’s like a train barreling towards you. Then there is actual fact; a wall comes down, a pipe is run, a tree cut. Just as a love note gets slipped into the jacket pocket, the walk in the Summer rain is remembered and the argument gets made up. 
And so, I am currently being romanced by the presence of walls.  I haven’t had walls since Winter.  It’s quite remarkable what vertical physical planes will do to your mindset.  I’m now guided through the interior of my house, which forces me in the nicest way to move according to plan. I can no longer meander willy nilly through spaces between studs from one room to another and I can no longer see straight through one space to another aside from expected doorways. There are new parameters and boundaries. In one sense I am comforted by this and in another I am nostalgic for the recklessness.  I guess I’m just going to keep working on creating order from chaos and looking for chaos to create order from, all the whilst hopefully letting romance in.

Johanna Lowe