Monday, October 22, 2012

My House

I love my home.  It is not anything fancy.  It would by no means be featured in an upcoming Southern Living, but it is just right for me.  I have lived in many houses over the years.  Houses in the country, houses in town, and houses in cities.  Houses with one story, two stories, and four stories.  Some of the houses I have gotten to paint, choose carpet, choose wallpaper, etc.  Others I have had to make do with what was there.  I have had favorites.  I loved the second house we lived in when we where in Bethesda.  It was old and had little nooks here and there.  But it only had one and half baths.  The thing was, none of the houses belonged to us.  We were  renting them or they were parsonages.  When we moved to Raleigh, we were finally able to buy our own home.   We were excited and scared.  Jack read the book "Buying Houses for Dummies".  He did all the numbers and came up with what he thought we could afford.  He patiently explained to me that just because the bank said we could borrow more, that didn't mean we could afford more.  I was frustrated with him...but now I am so thankful he did his homework!

Finally the day came for us to actually start looking.  We had one day allotted to find a home.  Our fabulous realtor, Tom Hawkins, had done his homework as well.  He knew our price range and basically what we were looking for and found several listings for us to look at.  Tom was tickled by my "looking" method.  I usually walked inside the house and said either "no"  or "well, let's look".  He didn't get it.  He wanted me to articulate "my feeling".  But I couldn't, I just had a "feeling" about the house.  It started getting late in the day before we got to the Cary area.  We drove by one listing and loved the neighborhood, and the outside of the house.  But unfortunately we couldn't see the house that day.  We drove over to another house which we also liked and toured it.  I liked it.  It was nice.  Two things though.  I didn't get "the feeling" when I walked in and the owners were selling because the wife had arthritis and was having trouble with all the steps (it was a split level).  That concerned me because I was starting to have trouble with arthritis myself.  Jack and I finally decided to push our departure back one more day.  The next morning we walked into the house we hadn't seen.  Immediately, I knew it was our home. I loved how the entryway was tall and open and well lit.  It really welcomed you into the house.  The master was on the first floor which was also a big bonus. It was a bit on the small side.  It only had a great room, not a separate living space.  But we knew this was the one.  Luckily for us it all worked out.
This is our house BEFORE it was painted!

Over the years I have painted every room except for the dining room and Stephen's room.  I totally redid my kitchen myself.  Okay, Okay, yes I have had some help painting and redoing my kitchen!   Thank you Nancy, Mike, Kevin, Grace, Janet, Donnie, Phil, Lou and Allison. These people have taught me new skills and helped me complete tasks when either my ability or my body was not capable.  I have enjoyed making this house ours.

When the kids started getting older, we started considering moving to a larger house.  We even looked into buying a home with an in-law suite and have Jack's mom move in with us.  But we quickly decided we couldn't afford a house big enough to accommodate our privacy.  :-)  So we stayed.  Now as the house is starting to empty of our kids, the house is feeling just the right size.  Of course I do think of the days when we will have spouses and grandchildren.  But, I think we can pull it off.  Plus, the majority of time we will be here alone.  We also from time to time think about moving into Raleigh so Jack's commute could be shorter.  But we keep coming back to we love our neighbors and I love the smallness of Cary.  Plus, I love my little home.

The house is starting to show wear and tear.  As we were cleaning yesterday, we noticed how disgusting the carpet on the stairs is becoming.  We are doing a special cleaning because we have a guest coming tomorrow.  It is interesting to me that when I have guest, I see my house so differently.  Suddenly I see everything that is wrong with it.  I am not as happy with it as I was just the day before.    I spent most of my adult life to this point worrying about what others would think about my house.  I didn't want people to be disgusted by it.  Think I was lazy because it wasn't perfectly cleaned and decorated. 

The older I get, the easier it is for me to turn off those voices.  I do the best I can.  Sure, there are dog hairs around, and yes, sometimes it looks like lots of small dogs, but I am also busy being creative.  I am busy writing this blog.  I am busy making memories with my family.  I am busy resting and taking care of my body.  Honestly, I don't invite a lot of people into my home.  The ones I do, love me for me.  They know my limitations and look past them.

So, yea, I love my little home.  And I am not going to let my perfectionistic voice get in the way of that.  One day Stephen's room will be painted, the dining room will be painted, the carpet on the stairs will be removed, and I will be able to hire someone to do what I cannot.  But until then, I will listen to the sounds of my children playing tag in my house, the sounds of squeals as the kids play with Sunshine, the sounds of us reading aloud, the sounds of a happy family.

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