Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where did "Dunroamin'" come from?

     Behind the legislature buildings in Victoria, there is a old humble historical house wedged in tall overgrown trees with a tiny sign above the door "Dunroamin'".  This was spotted years ago when I lived there while aimlessly wandering around; I doubt I'd be able to find it now.  It doesn't matter, what's important is the feeling it immediately captured for me.  The sign read like an exclamation point, as if to say, this is it!  It took a lot of searching and adventures to finally decide where I need to be.  It's compact stature declared that the residents didn't need much and had their memories to keep them entertained.  At least, that's what it told me as I stood there to admire the little house.
     A few years later I met Rob and together we set off of a wild adventure lasting several years; starting in South East Asia and ending in South America.  Near the end, feeling tired of living out of a backpack and ready to plant some roots, we were living in an Andean mountain town near the border of Peru.  I loved Cuenca, it's cobbled stone streets, the cafes and ice cream parlours, Spanish architecture, the Saturday market when Indegenous people came down from their villages to sell their flowers behind the blue domed cathedral, the quirky characters, even it's dogs that lingered in doorways.  I cried when we left there.
     Cuenca was known as a center for ceramics for Ecuador.  Longing for a place we knew we had yet to discover inspired me to custom order this plaque.  Having it displayed in our adobe house was a mark of serious intention. I knew that someday the right place would come along that would fulfill the same sentiments of that little house in Victoria. 
     Back in the Yukon, as we prepared to leave for Columbia, our last posting, Rob found a photo of this house at a real estate office.  We were living in his bachelor pad, a wee cabin without a door knob and a giant frost heave directly under the oil barrel wood stove.  Ever so casually, he placed the photos on the table and said "I'm buying this".  It was 2 weeks before Christmas, during an economic downturn and people were leave the Yukon in droves.  The house hadn't been lived in for a few years.  The realtor was not eager to drive all the way out here to show it to us, maybe it had to do with the time of year - apparently no one buys houses in December - or it could have been Rob's jacket with duct tape on the elbows.  We trudged through thigh deep snow banks and instantly recognized that this was it.  Without looking at any other houses, we declared confidently, yes, thank you, we'll take it.