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.