A few months ago, we finally were able to make our much-anticipated, but less than well-planned, move. Finally, the boxes are unpacked, the cars can actually fit in the garage, and we are starting to obsess about repainting things. We are home. And yet, the kids (sitting in their much larger bedrooms) wax poetic about “the old house.” Despite being smaller, older, and with fewer bathrooms, it did have its charm. According to the children, it was “cozy” and “homey.”
Huh. When we were all squeezed in there like sardines, it never warranted such glowing descriptions. No. It was described as “tiny,” and “unbearable,” and “cramped.” Three bedrooms and one bathroom housing five people, a dog, and several cats…yes, we had outgrown it.
But the kids are right. It was cozy. We had finally found the perfect color for the master bedroom. We had added a generous amount of cabinets into the kitchen. The washer and dryer had been moved from the garage (where many of the homes built in the early 1950s housed such modern add-ons) into the remodeled breakfast nook off the kitchen. The garage was oversized with plenty of storage and an extra sink. We had a cellar (which is a God-send if you live in tornado alley). Yes, it was cozy, but it was also…well, home.
The new house has nearly double the space, with five separate attic areas for storage, and three bathrooms. There is a large deck with pergola and lush landscaping. There is a fireplace and a Viking stove. (Suddenly, all my holiday daydreams seem in reach!)
But the walls are not (yet) a color of our choosing. I still have to stop and recall where certain items are housed. There are still blank spots–walls without photos, corners without what-nots, and floors without warm rugs to ward off winter’s chill.
Sure, a coat of paint and a little more time will remedy these things. Before long, the walls will smile back at me with photos of us in our new home, and I will find the perfect chair for the reading nook. New things will merge with the old to create our new home, warm and cozy.
Like this life we have built over our fourteen years of marriage, building a home is a process. Day in and day out. Season after season. This, too, will become a true home for us. Every day, memories are being created. Chilly mornings with hot cocoa on the deck, holidays around the hearth, and sleepovers with little actual sleep but with lot of giggling, and games of Scrabble, and pumpkin pancakes for breakfast.
The cats have found their warm sunbeam spots for naptime, and the dog loves to sit on the deck rail and bark at passing cars. My new red tea kettle waits on the stove…ready for me to set my work aside and come home.