I Forgive You, House

Boy, was I mad at this house after we moved in.  The basement flooded not once, not twice, but three times.  We had to call an exterminator not once, but twice.  Pulling the weeds outside was like a full-time job. The wallpaper in the dining room and Katie’s room was super glued to the walls.  The downstairs bathroom door opened awkwardly into the hallway, and the toilets clogged constantly.  The shower in our master bathroom was cramped and ugly.  Four of the windows in the house didn’t even open.  Some dream house, huh?

“I hate this house,” I told my husband repeatedly.

“I love it,” he would answer.

Well, we finally got the flooding in the basement under control.  It has been bone-dry for months.  The exterminator’s frequent visits seem to have been successful; I’ve seen nary an ant since summer.  The weeds are still a problem, but it turns out I actually enjoy a little gardening.  Who knew?  The wallpaper had to be removed by a professional, but at least it is done now.  The dining room is serene, and Katie’s bedroom is painted a delightful shade of pink.  The bathroom door still opens awkwardly into the hall, but a fresh coat of paint, a new vanity, and some new shelves sure make it worth the awkward entrance.  Our master bathroom is in the beginning stages of a remodel.  The windows have all been fixed.

I’m a forgiving person.

And in the dark of the morning, when I’m up before the sun and the kids, I walk softly through the living room with its soaring cathedral ceiling.  The brick fireplace sits unused for now, but I know its time will come this winter. I glance up the stairs towards the kids’ bedrooms, and I smile.  They are joined by a jack-and-jill bathroom, and it is one of my favorite features of the house.  I walk into the kitchen and pull open the curtains to sneak through the patio doors into the sun room while I wait for the coffee to brew.  Eighteen windows provide a full view of our yard, and I sit on the comfy coach with my legs curled underneath me.  I look to the corner of the sun room to see my writing desk – an old, repurposed sewing table – and I know my words are waiting to spill onto the screen of  my laptop.  Just me, some coffee, and the first rays of the morning sun.  Me, and this house.  Our house.

I forgive you, house.

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10 thoughts on “I Forgive You, House

  1. It’s like a love letter, Dana, and I enjoyed the peek at your “lovely” “new” house. What is that saying? “It takes a heap o’ living to make a house a home.” I think you’ve done a heap of it already, so guess it is worth forgiving, and is now a home. Terrific slice!

  2. Linda thought of a love letter and I thought of Sidman’s book of poems of apologies and forgiveness. Either way, I think you’ve forgiven and fallen in love. And that’s a beautiful thing. I guess that means your house has become a home.

  3. I am happy for you that you have those things which were taking the shine off your dream house under control. Now you can relax and enjoy all the perfect spaces you imagined. The fireplace will be beautiful, I can just picture it. 🙂

  4. I can really feel how your relationship with your house has grown into something more intimate. It’s a home and it is now yours, warts and all. Such a beautiful, real piece of writing.

  5. Your post made me smile. I remember when we first moved here, 17 years ago, I used to tell my husband, “This house doesn’t like me.” So glad for the passage of years and many happy memories that fill our home today. I loved the image of you sitting on the couch facing all those windows with words waiting to spill out.

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