This House

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Slice of Life Hosted by Two Writing Teachers

It’s 6:30 AM.  I’m sitting alone in my kitchen.  MacBook open, coffee steaming in my favorite mug.  The whole house is asleep.  It’s just me and this house.

This house.  This house is not my friend.

We live in the house that my husband grew up in.  He bought it off his mom many years ago, and now it’s ours.  I never felt at home in this house.  I always feel like I’m surrounded in someone else’s memories.  Silly, I know.  

Whenever I complain to my husband about some aspect of this house, he offers up some explanation that only he could know.  Some story from his childhood about why the window doesn’t open or who cracked the tile in the floor.  He, who grew up in this house.  I feel like he and the house have a secret, and they won’t share it with me.

We always talk about moving, and I tell him that I want to pick my own house.  A house with a coat closet and a first floor laundry room and an open floor plan.  It’s true, I do want these things.  But what I really want, I think, is to make my own memories and not live amongst his.

But I sit here this morning, just me and this house, and I think about how we were upstairs in our old bedroom when he got down on one knee and proposed.  And how we brought Maddie home from the hospital to this house, and we stood with her in the living room, looking at each other with no clue what to do.  And how both our girls took their first steps and celebrated their first birthdays in this house.  I think about the very first time I ever came to this house when I was in high school and he was the boy I liked.  And right now, our oldest daughter is asleep in the room we painted pink that used to be his as a child, and I think that’s kind of sweet.

So, I sit here this morning, just me and this house, and realize that I’m sitting amidst my own memories, too.  Maybe this house and I are starting to become friends.

 

 

 

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18 thoughts on “This House

  1. Dana! I think this is my new fave! I know you struggle with loving that house but you have made it your own. I love how you changed your mind about your house as you wrote. Very effective.

  2. I liked how you started out with saying you aren’t friends and then slowly realizing that you’re making new memories with your family, and just maybe you are friends with your home at the end! Great piece. I feel when I read your pieces, your voice really comes through.

  3. I can totally relate. We moved into the house Phil’s dad built! Phil moved in when he was 3 months old. I said I would live here 6 months and soooo many years later we are still here. Thanks for helping me see this house differently.

  4. I feel like he and the house have a secret, and they won’t share it with me.
    Oh my.
    Your story had me crying.
    The house has become your friend. You have a secret with the house as well. Delightful, well written.

  5. This is such a wonderful reflection piece. I think is shows when we have quiet moments to think things through old held perceptions might be revised. I think your new friend, the house, has taught me something this morning, too.

  6. I love this post. It sounds like there are so many memories. It was interesting to see how your thoughts about the memories emerged over time.

  7. I love that you are realizing that you have built a life in this house. While I have not had your experience with houses, I have moved from the houses where my children were born, where we had various pets, holidays, and shared life with family members who are no longer on this earth… but the hardest thing was leaving the home in which we lived when the kids were little. They still fondly speak of that home even today. I sometimes wish we still had it, so that they could enjoy the feeling of living in the space where those memories were created. There is something special, visceral about that. My parents are elderly but still have my childhood home where all of my memories of “home” have been formed for 45 years. Every time I visit, I feel the pangs of sadness that this house and property will likely not be part of my life for many more years, and that so much time has passed. But, at the same time, there is great comfort in being in that place–especially on the land–that I knew and loved so much. It must bring your husband a deep sense of belonging to be able to share his childhood home with you and his children… to know the history of the house and to bring you in on making your own memories and sharing your own secrets with this special place. It may not be your dream house, but it’s the stuff that dreams are made of. 🙂

  8. Great post. I have more to say, but can’t find the right sentence just yet. The important things are your family and the people you love. Everything else is just on the list.

  9. Thank you for posting this Dana. It touched me deeply, and there is nothing silly about it. I understand completely….

    In my case it is not the house, but the town. For thirty years I’ve lived in my husband’s town, surrounded by his childhood memories, and, like you, I wanted was to find a place where I could make my own memories….

    What’s ironic is how differently I view things today. I realize now that the memories that matter, (the ones we made together), are right here, in this house, and yes, in this town!

    It’s no secret that, for me, the the time has come. My situation clearly dictates finding a new place is the right thing to do. But, guess what? I no longer want to. Why? Because his memories are my memories, are our memories. They can no longer be separated, and don’t think I have the strength to leave them all behind…..

    I am truly happy that you, and your house are starting to make friends:-)

    PS

    Once again, you have inspired me with your thought provoking topic…..may I “steal “it?

  10. You so perfectly put this process of awareness into words! What a beautiful post. As a daughter who grew up in her daddy’s house, I can say, yes, it was his, and then it was ours, and when my parents talk about selling that home, I cringe. 🙂 I hope that this is the beginning of your hubby’s house becoming your home.

  11. Dana – you are such a wonderful writer. My wish for you is that you could pursue this as a career, in some way. My feeling is that writing makes you happy – and I can see why – you are SO, SO, SO good at it! Your style, what and how you write is so moving and so eloquent. Think about it…….

  12. My husband bought our home a year before we married. I’m 54 and I’ve never shopped for a house. Thinking of how long it took me to pick out my last comforter for my bed I guess that’s a good thing

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