It’s no secret that I’m 51 years old, just confirmed by scheduling my first colonoscopy consult. Oh the joys, but I digress . . .
My house is actually older than I am. Seriously! And it’s not some trendy Victorian row house. It’s nestled in a nice older neighborhood on a small isolated circle. But, it desperately needs a new driveway and roof, and there are cracks in the kitchen and dining room ceilings. My master bath is the size of a dressing room at JCPenney’s and the bedroom paint is peeling off. The carpet is rather disgusting too.
It has many cosmetic defects like any 50-something woman, but there’s something very special about this ol’ girl. She holds the memories of a raising a family for the last 20 years. If she could talk, she’d tell you about the height lines written in pencil on the kitchen doorway for two little boys starting at 3 feet going to 6’ 3” for the tallest. She’d tell you about the little boys crossing streams in their bathroom ruining the paint, and how their bedrooms have gone from Sesame Street and Disney motifs to MLB and NFL décor, then moving to bedrooms downstairs with walls covered with posters and sports memorabilia.
This lovely old lady would laugh at the many crazy Thanksgivings cooked in her kitchen and served in the dining room with hoards of relatives . . .
. . . About the puppy with a bra fetish who ruined her carpets, the nights of laughter playing trivial pursuit, the days spent setting up an entire Christmas village and train track around the living room and Christmas tree and the cat that liked to sit in the middle of it like a giant statue . . .
She’d probably mention how she was a refuge for teenagers, the favorite place for kids to hang out because they could be comfortable and not worry about getting a spot on the carpet or dinging a fancy vase.
She might mention the 100’ sequoia in the back yard and the scrub and stellar blue jays who’ve made their homes there. A red tailed hawk couple nested there this Spring and had 3 handsome babies to train all Summer.
Because this old house is a proud lady, she probably wouldn’t tell you about the basement floods, the plumbing issues, the roof leaks or the cable and phone issues. She’d just toss those things aside and remember that joy, laughter, tears, some raised voices, and lots of crazy memories have taken root and blossomed. Two babies in diapers grew into young men right here before her heavily wallpapered walls.
Most of all she’d say a family lives here who loves each other, who struggles together, who has ups and downs and manages to come back together no matter what.
Today, I’m very grateful for my house, warts and all because it is, more than anything else, a home.