Home Sweet Homes

Last weekend I went to see Mr D’s soon-to-be off campus housing. The best I can say is it’s safe and sort of clean. Decor wise, think ’70s basement rec-room: drop ceilings, vinyl floors and lots of wood paneling. It’s pretty much perfect for a bunch of 20 year old boys.

A new home is an exciting adventure. This will be Mr D’s third residence and I’m sure it’s not going to be his last. I started counting and realized that I’ve lived in seven different places so far. Some I liked better than others, but they each served their purpose and for better or worse they were the settings for all the life events that made me…me.

House number one was the home of my childhood; 1950s rancher; 6 people-1 bathroom; red carpet in the living room; paneling everywhere (dad hated to paint). This was the home of Barbie dolls and sleepovers and getting caught necking on the sofa with my first boyfriend when I thought mom was fast asleep.

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House number two was the home where I first set up housekeeping; 22 years old; newly married (the rehearsal husband); one bedroom ground floor apartment ten minutes from mom and dad’s; brand new blue striped sofa and love seat; new towels, new sheets, new everything; learning to do laundry and shop for groceries. This was the home I shared with my first cat (sweet Maggie); cooked my first meal (breaded pork chops and scalloped potatoes), and decorated my first, very own Christmas tree.

House number three meant a mortgage and grown up responsibility; pretty yellow cape cod two blocks from my sister’s house; weird paneling in the master bedroom featuring deer filled wooded scenes; above ground pool; cricket infestation in the basement (Maggie liked to catch them and bring them upstairs!) This was the home where I learned how to stencil and wallpaper, where I fed my maternal instinct by caring for my infant nephew and where I became a divorcee at 26.

House number four represented my independence, reconfigured second floor apartment in an older house; noisey downstairs neighbors; green paneling and sloping floors in the kitchen; big and plentiful windows, perfect for Maggie to perch. Here was a home that was truly my own, paid for and cared for by me alone. Here was where I lived the life of a single woman, late nights, dates; lugging my laundry to my parents every Tuesday night and coming home with a bag of leftovers. Here is where I was living when I met my forever guy.

House number five, the home for new beginningstop floor end apartment, red brick building in a complex with an in-ground pool; sharing a home with the man of my dreams; “shacking -up” as my mom put it; olive green appliances in the kitchen; stackable washer and dryer in the bathroom; moved in in June; engaged by December. This was the home where I was living when I lost my dad, the home where I turned 30, the home where I planned a wedding and, once again, became a wife.

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House number sixtwo story townhouse; another mortgage; three months pregnant at closing; fenced in yard with a luscious thick lawn and morning glories growing in the back; hosting Thanksgiving dinners and Mom’s surprise 70th birthday party (we flew my brother in from Oklahoma to surprise her even more). This was the home where we said a sad goodbye to sweet Maggie and welcomed Jack and Chrissy into our family.  It was also where I welcomed my babies, where I became “mom” and embarked on the biggest adventure of all.

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Finally, House number seven, the worst house in the best neighborhood, 25 years old custom built, original and unique; loved by its first owners; trashed by its second; months of tearing out carpets and flooring; adding walls and my beloved porch; sanding, scraping, planting, painting, making it our own. This is the home where we have raised our children, where I returned to the work force and where I said goodbye my wonderful mom. This is the home where I’ve come into middle age and settled into my life.

Is this my dream house? Not even close. My dream house would be at least a hundred years old and would have a wrap around porch with a swing. It would have pocket doors, crown molding and a fireplace or two. Someday, maybe, I’ll live in a house like that but for now, even if this isn’t my dream house, it is definitely my dream home because it’s where the people I love are and after all, that’s what make a house a home.

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9 responses to “Home Sweet Homes

  1. Pingback: If We WereHaving Coffee…6/4/16 | The View from the Porch

  2. Somehow I missed this post and a few others. Loved this! Our homes truly are more than just structures, aren’t they? Obviously some can be, but most of the time they truly do become a part of our lives. Wouldn’t it be great if those four walls could talk to us and tell us the stories of those who lived there before? Btw, my “dream” home would be a beautiful Victorian (preferably on the beach,but….) with a wrap around porch.

    • Oh yeah, a house on the beach would be really cool! Yes, I would like to know all the “secrets” of the houses we’ve lived in, especially this one. I bet there are some great stories here! I would also love to go back and visit our past houses. I’ve driven past my childhood home several times but I’ve never had the nerve to knock on the door.

      • From May 2013 to September 2014, I rented a home in the same neighborhood my family had lived in until I was eleven. My family was the original owners of it, and the family in it now are the individuals who bought it from my parents. That says something for a home and neighborhood that it’s only had two different owners in 50 years! I walked by that house often but never had the nerve to speak to the owners, so I understand where you are coming from. Way down in the bottom corner of the backyard we used to have a swing set that my father set up. I “think” at least the frame of it is still there. I am pretty sure I’ve seen that from the road which is pretty cool. 🙂 That house is pictured in some of my blog posts. Possibly the one about the 4th of July. I’ll have to check.

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  4. Great post! The houses we lived in are a great way to measure our past, especially when we focus on the good things that happened in each of them. I’m glad you are in your dream home, and hope that someday you may even get the chance to live in your dream house!

  5. I really enjoyed reading this post. The memories of our life seem to vibrate inside the walls of the places we have lived.
    It sounds like we share a vision of what our dream home should look like, however in the end, all that matters is that the walls contain our laughter and joy at life 🙂

    • Yes, that exactly how I feel too. I was surprised that when I started thinking about each home I could “picture” who I was at that moment in my life. The memories that were distinct to each place were very strong. Funny how that works.

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