It has been far too long friends since I checked in here. The reason being is the source of much happiness and also much exhaustion…we bought a house! After months of searching and then months of dealing with a bank owned property, we finally made it to close on Halloween. Since then, I have come to realize that this house has become our temporary second child. It needed some things done; it still does let’s be honest. The to-do list is a mile long and every time we cross one thing off I seem to add two more things to it. I also now feel responsible for keeping every inch clean at all times which, let’s face it, with a new 45 (really closed to 60 with traffic) minute commute, three dogs and a kid, that’s just never going to happen. I’m hoping to share more details about our new life soon but for this post, I wanted to look back with gratitude on our old home, the house that gave us shelter and many memories for 8 years.
I will never forget the old house, the first time I set foot inside it was to enjoy a “home cooked” meal by a guy I was dating at the time *wink wink* (which turned out to be carry out Chinese food – a place we would order from many times for years to come.) I moved into the house back in 2008 during the end of a transitional period in my life. I lived there with my husband (then boyfriend), Stanley and Bella, our dogs, for several years.
I was going through my “interior designer” phase at that point and made it my mission to paint/ transition every room in the house since I knew we were going to be there a while. The best transformation was in the little kitchen. We put in new floors and counters and painted. The space was so small that it didn’t take much to spiff it up a bit. I ended up redoing every room in the house (the living room twice) with the exception of our bedroom which maintained its light brown, dusty wall color to the very end.
As much as I am grateful for the years of shelter and memories the house provided, let me take a moment to comment on the shortcomings of the house (because you really didn’t think you would make it through this post without a rant). I will tell you the tiny kitchen annoyed me to no end. The lack of counter space, no dish washer, and the ant infestation of 2014 were not things I ever want to have to deal with again. The basement was literally like something out of a nightmare (I really won’t comment much more beyond that). The bathroom did not have a vent so keeping it dry was nearly impossible not to mention there was only one bathroom. Between the three of us needing to share one bathroom, there were never any major disasters but there were some very close calls! Sometime back in 2010 or maybe even earlier than that, the ceiling fan/ light broke in our bedroom. It remained broken for the next 6 years. The other real problem was the lack of parking in the neighborhood and really, the neighborhood in general. We lucked out and had amazing neighbors directly next to us and across from us but that type of neighborliness ended as soon as you moved beyond our little bubble. And that was the major deciding factor in the move. The area, while centrally located was in a not so friendly community. We did talk about staying at the old house, fixing it up, and living there forever from time to time but it could never be the place for us long term.
Having gone back to the old house several times since we moved, it seems so small, so odd, like this quiet, cold space, devoid of all life. It’s almost hard for me to believe that the unfinished floors and the dusty walls once held our most precious belongings and most cherished memories. We were (almost) always so happy there. Since it was so small and there was only one bathroom, we rarely had anyone over, so the experience of the house itself is something that Thomas, Emma, and I will always have to ourselves. The first time Thomas told me he loved me was in that house. I found out I was pregnant with Emma there. I brought her home from the hospital to that house. She took her first steps, smashed food into all the floor boards, and spent countless hours creating imaginary worlds in every corner of the place. It was the last place I saw Stanley. It was the only home Charlie and Reese knew. We took the dogs on countless walks around the neighborhood and spent hours at the local park that was always empty, like it was there just for us. Thomas and his dad built the deck and the shed in the back yard. We spent days snowed in there playing games and doing whatever we could to prevent cabin fever. Thomas and I both cooked hundreds of meals there. I recovered from three different surgeries in that house. We had some of the best neighbors I’ve ever had in my life at that house; Ed, George, and Sherise. I still get that wave of peace and relief whenever I pull up to the old house, my body and mind telling me, I have arrived at my sanctuary. (I hope that feeling eventually transfers to our new home.) And then, as if it could not have given us anything else, that house eventually gave us the financial freedom to move out of it.
The location and size of the old house had not worked for us for years so we finally moved on, but we will never forget it, and we move on with the hope that we can find the same happiness in our new home, Emma can recreate her imaginary worlds, we can be a family for more dogs, and we can live happily together.