Tiny Dancer

Lucy has always been adorable! c. 2019

This house. Me. Dreams. Faith. Grace.

Two years ago this weekend, I asked my principal for Friday and Monday off so I could come to Billings to find a house.

I couldn’t qualify for a house over $130K, and there were literally 4 houses/condos in my range that weekend.

The first time I drove by Lucy, I saw my now neighbor Dan’s plastic bag window and I just kept driving. Then I drove by the other options in town, and went to see some with my realtor, Kelly.

At the condo there were dog feces right inside the door when we opened it. The poor dog was frantic and running everywhere. There’s no way I woulda bought that place, but I still remember the little beagle and poor Kelly’s horror. She needn’t worried-she reminded me of my friend Teralynn from the Yaak. I trusted her to figure things out with me.

We saw a few places in North Park where we couldn’t even get in, there were squatters and agro tenants.

Lucy’s magic garden awaits! c.2021

We drove to Lockwood and saw a cute little house on Calamity Jane Blvd. When I learned that homes in Lockwood don’t have water, and you have to go fill tanks with water to fill the cistern, I was like “HARD PASS.” The house had a wood burning stove, that was basically its major plus. Whenever I see people with water tanks in the back of their trucks now, I think about what my life might have been. HA.

So, really, Lucy was kinda my last choice, but definitely was my best choice.

I kept driving by her at all hours of the day. I mean, what else did I have to do? I didn’t know anyone else in town, and I knew I needed to find housing. I already had gotten my job, and now I needed a place to live.

So we finally looked at Lucy on Friday afternoon. Then I asked if I could see it again on the Saturday before Mother’s Day. Kelly brought her kids. I looked at this sad house with amazing vibes and just said “Ok. It’s my house. Let’s make an offer.” I had no idea what I was doing, really, but I knew I needed a house to call my own. I was thinking about Virginia Woolf and a Room of One’s Own. I knew if I didn’t have a safe place to call home I wasn’t going to make it. Plus, I’d been living in a trailer for 5 months at that point. So this is probably why things like the stove and toilet being within 12″ of each other didn’t faze me. Or a Dumbo shower head (which did a good job, TBH).

I made an offer, the only time I’d bought a house by myself, and said YES to this insanity.

On Mother’s Day, Kelly called me while I was sitting at Sassy Biscuits and eating breakfast to tell me the house was mine.

As I work to heal my heart from the losses of late, I have deepened my relationship with my home.

Never before in my life have I had such a deep connection to a home. And trust me, I never thought this would happen. When my children were growing up, the house Will and I raised them in, in Eugene, was HOME. Like home x10. I was so proud of that home and what happened in it. I was heartbroken to leave it.

I found a connection with the homes I owned in Oregon with Tom. The ranch we owned was pretty special, I wish other things had been as peaceful as the ranch was.


Lucy has been here. Even as I have been performing major surgery on her and creating new walls and floors and cabinetry, the soul of her was here the whole time. It didn’t matter that I didn’t know who she was at first.

Really, Lucy is just an external representation of ME. Lucy is me in a house. That’s what I brought to other homes I loved, and that is what I bring to this one. Whether Lucy and I spend the rest of my life together remains to be seen. But I DO KNOW that building Lucy has been a rebuilding of me. And Lucy, like my sweet dog Korra, has seen me through transitions, tears, and heartaches.

Lucy is the purest, rawest, form of me. Perhaps Lucy is my body as a house. I don’t know.

I know that I love this house and care for this house like I care for myself. Sometimes I am so gentle and loving and pour the tenderness on. Sometimes I’m impatient and irritated to have to do any maintenance.

It doesn’t matter.

Both Lucy, and my soul, just stick around. Letting me be myself. Letting me do what I do.

What an incredible knowing. What an incredible love.


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