I hope this won’t disappoint you.
Because this is not a post about Chad Allen. Or even Wilford Brimley for that matter.
This is actually about our house — my family’s house. And about my childhood house too.
Maybe you’ve heard I’m sentimental?
I once wrote a post entirely on baloney sandwiches. Which I haven’t eaten since 1989. There. See?
And you don’t even know the half of it.
Take for example, our house. Our beloved house. We bought it soon after we were married. My husband was in grad school and waiting tables. I was working as a legislative aide, making $21,000 a year.
We fell in love with our house right away. You just know, you know?
And ten years, five promotions,
four three pets and two kids later, here we are. Still.
We’ve tweaked this and that. We’ve remodeled, built in and added on. We’ve even talked about adding up — but then we’d be insane. But speaking of insane, we’ve also added an above-ground storm shelter — for the woman with tornado-induced PTSD.
We love our house. We love the midcentury fireplace and the Dick Van Dyke Show flavor. We love the tree-lined yard and the neighbors who talk over fences.
But we don’t love the quirky oven and the stove burners that fold out from the wall. And we don’t love the thought of tearing them out and spending two months eating from a microwave.
Our house is only one and a half bath, meaning we share a bathroom with booger-encrusted children. There’s no basement either, so no place for hoarding unsightly crap. (Which is what basements are for. Crap.)
Our house also smells like old people. No matter how many candles we burn. And, worse, we don’t even notice it smells like old people — until we come home after a long vacation.
But yet it always still feels good to come home.
We’ve thought about moving out and moving on. We don’t have to sell the house, we tell ourselves. We can keep it and rent it out — a win-win!
But then there’s the thought of someone trashing our wood floors or some snot-nosed brat writing “fart” on the wall — and it stops us right in our tracks.Because, damnit, if anyone is going to trash our wood floors, it’ll be us! And if any snot-nosed brat is going to write “fart” on the wall, it’ll be ours!
Maybe all of this house nonsense has to do with the emotional baggage I still lug around.
Long, long ago, this house broke my heart.
It might’ve been my first love. And I don’t think I ever got over it.
My family moved in when I was three, about the moment I learned to ride a tricycle. We moved out when I was nine, about the moment I learned that life can suck.
Here is the house where I learned to ride a two-wheeler.
Here is the house where my brother learned to ride a 10-speed.
I lost my first tooth here. (Well, not right here.) Which I’m happy to show you right here.
And right here again. (My hands are next to my face to remind you to look at my mouth.)
I made my first best friend here. She lived one house away. We’d play and fight and play and fight, with many walks back and forth through the neighbors’ yard in between playing and fighting. And biting. (The biting was all her.)
Here is the house where we took shelter on the night a tornado touched down. Here is where the tornado hit. Here is my mom. (Hi, Mom.)
And here is where we rebuilded and, later, repainted it blue.
Here is where I had my ceremonial send-off before my first day of school.
And here is where family gathered — family I haven’t seen in years.
And I haven’t even mentioned all the memories from the inside of the house.
So when I think about moving from our house today, I don’t think so much about leaving walls and a fireplace or even the quirky stove I resent. I think about leaving us, the lives we’ve created here the past ten years.
Oh, I don’t know. Maybe we need to find a bigger house. Maybe I’ll change my mind soon. Maybe I’ll get over it, you know, all this nostalgia gobbledygook. Maybe I need to find a hobby, a thing to fill this sentimental spot in my heart.
Maybe I need to take up scrapbooking?
And, hey, I need a basement for that crap.