Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dear House


Dear House-
I know I've been hard on you this winter.  But you've suffocated me with your walls, and frustrated me to no end with your various flaws.  I've tried to take good care of you, but you know, because of your age, you are high maintenance.  As soon as I help you present yourself well in one area, hunting down someone I can trust you with, and then shelling out our hard-earned cash, up crops another issue.  You've been acting sort of diva-ish all winter long and diva-ish does not fly around here, you know that.

The leak in the kitchen window was the final straw-sometimes you push me to far. I started looking around, I'll admit it.  I started looking around to see what else is out there.  Other houses started looking more attractive to me.  New houses without your issues and baggage.  Houses that have mudrooms in particular and with enough bedrooms to give us a little more room to spread out.   Houses that don't leak when it rains, distribute heat evenly throughout, and whose paint in fresh and unflawed.  Baseboards, bright white and undented.  You know I can't resist me a shiny baseboard!  A house where we know what we are getting right upfront, with no secrets behind the walls and under the floors.

I've tried to work with you this winter.  I've had people in-people who know what they are talking about, to try to change you.  You always put up a fight when it comes to change. You can't support this addition or that, you complicate my exciting plans till I just throw up my hands in defeat.  You are stubborn and you always have to get your way.

I went for a walk last week, in the evening and as I rounded the corner home, I saw you glowing.  You looked like home to me, not just a house.  I was still mad at you though, honestly, I'll tell you-half the reason I went on a walk was to get away from you, and gawk at some of the other homes in the neighborhood.  But then when I saw you, standing there, looking so-well, homey and warm and sweet, filled with my life as I know it-I felt a pang of guilt at my betrayal.  I began to imagine leaving and well...my stomach hurt.

And then...and then.  It's 80 degrees and sunny out one unusually warm day a week later.  The baby naps, I scrub the floors.  I throw open every single one of your windows.  I take down your winter battens, and put up your screens.  I pull up the rugs and dust you off.  I polish and scrub.

I let the warm spring breeze in.  If there is anything you are good at it, it's redeeming yourself to me once again.  The way you circulate the air in the front and out the back is dreamy.  The beautiful light from your big bay window fills the family room.  Outside the ivy is climbing up the brick wall, and blossoms are bursting from your trees.  Darn you!

You are not perfect.  By far.  You could use some improvement.  I know though, that I can study your flaws, and look at your shortcomings or I can accept that I cannot change you-I loved you once just the way you were not too long ago-you are indeed old and stubborn and set in your ways, but you've got character.  Lots of it.  I know I've expected too much of you. Contentment is always a work in progress and I was weak this winter.  I've slipped up a little and fallen for that old "the grass is always greener" adage.  Forgive me for that.

So here's my plea- let's begin a new relationship.  Keep the breeze coming, the paint sticking, and the rain outside.  I'll do my best to see your bright side.

Respectfully Yours

29 comments:

  1. I hope those around me feel the same way about me :)

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  2. Sarah, this is marvelous. Clever. And so much truth to be found between the lines. Glad good ol' home redeemed itself and a little breeze cleared the air for you. You can't leave that beautiful place! Love you. xo

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  3. Such a great post. Made me chuckle.:)

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  4. Love your way with words as always!

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  5. You have such an amazing way with words. I love this!

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  6. Amazing. Made me want to live in your home…well, with my family that is. Sometimes we just need a change of perspective. You went from the inside looking out to the outside looking in, falling in love all over again. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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  7. I feel so the same about this house of mine! What amazes me is how short a time ago I adored it fully...but then those old house issues start to wear at me. I know how fast it is breaking down compared to the rate I can fix with my four five and under...and I start only seeing issues. But truly nothing like a scrub down and spring to remind me how much I love this home and so blessed in comparison to so so many. The best part about living where we do in dc is that my walk around the neighborhood is a stark reminder that I have more than enough. Thanks for your always inspiring words!

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  8. Hmmm, and when I look at your photos I always think your house is "perfect" and how I wish mine was more like yours! No one has the perfect house, a good lesson! I too am guilty of looking around at other houses, but often find mine more appealing in the end. It is sooo much work all the time, I guess they all are.

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  9. Yes! I was laughing and crying (inside) while reading this! I know exactly how you feel. I go through the exact same feelings after living in my charming old home after 10 years. Exact! Well written!

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  10. love this post, sarah. love it! i too live in an old home and every project we start becomes more and more than expected because of all the "extra" things we find we need to fix. it's a hassle, but in the end our house is more endearing and loved because of the effort and time put in to it. what i would love is to write a letter like this to my house, and to get a response back. i would love to know what my house thinks of its tenants. ☺ have a GREAT day in your lovely home!!!

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  11. Why, oh why, do I cry every time i read your blog??? You always say just what I'm feeling, way down deep.

    I think it's very true that we will never truly be happy if we keep longing for MORE.

    Thanks for your wisdom!

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  12. And as we speak I am looking for a house that speaks to me like yours does.
    Don't give up ...
    The character and charm can't be found all too often in a home.
    Give it some TLC ...
    All will be ok.

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  13. As the owner of an old house with whom I have a similar love-hate relationship, I loved this post!

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  14. You have elicited from my my first comment. Bravo! Smart, wise, clever. You nailed it.

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  15. Great post. I felt that way this week. I just hope we can over come our tiny home before we try to spread out to start a family!

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  16. I got on-line to browse through new construction, something without the baggage that my 92-year-old house carries. I stopped by your blog first, and I know exactly how you feel. My teeny tiny little bungalow (her name is Dot) can feel cramped at times, and her to-do list feels never ending (I just finished refinishing hardwoods in the kitchen that had been covered up by vinyl flooring), but when I think about leaving her...I just can't. Not yet. She's a little slice of heaven.

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  17. H-O-M-E! There's nothing like it! Great post!
    Justin Knight- Writing Pad Dad
    Writing Pad Dad Blog

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  18. You are such a gifted writer! Loved that!!

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  19. Aww, how endearing, there's no place like home :)

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  20. Just love what you wrote. Thank you.

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  21. I feel the same way about my [old] house! Thanks for a beautiful post!

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  22. As the proud owner of a 90 year old bungalow I understand! At this point there's not much left to replace/renovate which is a good thing. The bank account's empty!

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  23. Thanks for making me smile.
    I feel the same about my house and its only four years old....

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  24. Hi, this is my first time reading your post (I came to your blog via the nester), and I really like it! What a heartfelt, honest letter to your home. Somehow it reminded me of how I feel to my boys on day to day basis ;) I think it's love, what you're feeling. Your home breathes and sometimes throws a tantrum or two, but you're taking it all in as is, and making beautiful memories together. Thanks for sharing, and I'll be back to read more stories :)

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  25. Goregous words.. wow! Home is the best place to be! <3

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  26. Love, LOVE, LOVE!!!! And I am totally relate. Thank you!!!

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  27. Thank you! That was really lovely and makes us all aware that we do need to be content with what God has blessed us with! We are SO much richer than the majority of the world, and we can never seem to be satisfied.

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