Dear Sweet, Small House,
I did not grow up in a house whose physical attributes I love. I love my family immensely and could not have asked for a better upbringing. However, the house itself was only shelter--a safe, secure, familiar roof over our heads.
You are totally different. My hubby boy and I bought you back when we were just babies and we couldn’t have been more proud! An adorable little with a fireplace, center stairway, dining room with built-in china cabinet, kitchen with an island, dry basement, large deck and yard, and plenty of room for the two of us and the children yet to arrive.
I love you for so many reasons. I love the way you welcomed my two beautiful girls into this world and provided them with a great little nursery when they were babies, a circular floor plan to learn to walk, run, skip, and dance as toddlers, a swing set to spend hours in trying to reach the sky. Many drinks, meals, and laughs have been shared in the kitchen and dining room with good friends and family; many a cozy evening spent in front of the fire; many great experiences in the movie theatre in the basement. You have been a grounding force as we deal with all of the health scares, surgeries and recoveries. You were and continue to be a great little house.
But there is the key word – little. Unfortunately, we have outgrown you by leaps and bounds. The space that once seemed large enough now is sometimes constrictingly too small. We are cramped, crowded, cluttered.
The 13 year-old wants privacy and does not want to share a room with the 7 year-old and her polly pockets, barbies, and stuffies. She no longer wants to be in the top bunk but because there isn’t a flat wall in the whole room without a closet or a window two twin beds are impossible to arrange.
The hubby needs an office and a workout room that is not attached to my bedroom!
So a few years ago, I started looking at houses and looking and looking and looking. I have been through literally hundreds of houses and in all cases (except one recently that got away) I have come home and said “No fireplace, no basement, no room for the movie theatre, no open floor plan, not enough yard, too much work, no hard wood, not enough bigger than what I have, too expensive, too new, too cookie cutter, not enough character, boring, not solid enough, just not the house for us.” Followed by “I love so much about my little house and just want to find a house with all its great features plus a little bit more. Is that too much to ask?”
Not everyone would love my little house and many folks probably think I am crazy for not moving on. But for me, a house has to have great bones (solid structure, great floor plan, unique characteristics) AND a heart of its own. Not a heart that comes from only the family love in it, but a heartbeat that threads through all of the families that have shared it, and all of their collective stories and memories. You have all of that.
Maybe someday, I will look at a house, come home and honestly say that I would love that new house more than you – but for now I just keep singing the Crosby Still Nash song:
The Miller Gals
Loving You,Our house is a very, very fine house
With two [dogs] in the yard
Life used to be so hard
Now everything is easy
‘ cause of you
La la la la la la