The Homes We Make for Ourselves

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – A.A. Milne

Almost twelve years ago after looking at dozens and dozens of houses, I stumbled upon this one. It had been standing empty for awhile with its dull kitchen linoleum, the rickety backyard fence, and an old shake roof. On the surface it wasn’t any different from all the others, but once I stepped in the door I knew. I recognized this would be the place where we would begin our married life. I felt its presence in whispers. Love will preside here.

Throughout the years spent in this house almost every room has been repainted, my husband and sons took down the fence, new wood floors were installed in the family room and kitchen, a red and brown roof replaced the shake, and gray carpet ousted the green, blue, and sickly yellow in all the upstairs rooms. 

These walls have given us song and hugs and celebrations, yet heartache and sadness have also gathered. No home knows only happiness; this one held us up as we wallowed in our grief and struggles. It was our sanctuary through hard times, our safe port.

I believe houses have souls and are passed onto new owners. But really, the souls leave with us, holding onto our memories of where we have rested our heads. I have resided in many places, each havens in their own special ways. The memories follow me, and I keep them close to my heart.

Now walls stand bare. Boxes are stacked. Rooms echo. A new home awaits. This was the house where we began. Our next one will be where we will continue our journey together. It won’t be easy to say goodbye, but the hello will be a sweet new tune.

“In life, a person will come and go from many homes. We may leave a house, a town, a room, but that doesn’t not mean those places leave us. Once entered, we never entirely depart the homes we makes for ourselves in the world. They follow us, like shadows, until we come upon them again, waiting for us in the mist.” – Ari Berk

  A job offer has presented us with a new opportunity for adventure. We will soon move our stuff from our hometown to a bigger city filled with rivers, arches, and Cardinals. It is both exciting and terrifying, but we welcome the journey. I hope to chronicle this odyssey as we stumble toward the future. Stay tuned.
A job offer has presented us with a new opportunity for adventure. We will soon move our stuff from our hometown to a bigger city filled with rivers, arches, and Cardinals. It is both exciting and terrifying, but we welcome the journey. I hope to chronicle this odyssey as we stumble toward the future. Stay tuned.

A Little Place for Our Stuff

“That’s all you need in life, a little place for your stuff. That’s all your house is- a place to keep your stuff.” – George Carlin

Moving and downsizing is an exhausting exercise in figuring out what stuff is indispensable and what stuff is superfluous. Every item is a debate in my head. “Will this fit in our new house? What if I miss it when it’s gone? Does it give me joy? Will it give someone else joy?” I hyperventilate over random batteries and spare change stuck in the back of drawers. 

So I take breaths and calm my mind. No, it won’t fit. Sell it! Donate it! Throw that crap away. No one wants that shit.

Old furniture has sold to new owners. Boxes of dishes, linens, clothes, and other goods donated to a local charity. Books dropped off for the library sale. Our garbage bin continues to fill with broken things no one can fix.

But there are still items pulling at my heart. Pieces that will travel with us to fill our new, smaller space. My mom’s old music hutch covered in her hand-painted lilacs. A Hummel of my Aunt Bug’s. My grandmother’s quilts. A stone heart I found on a California beach. A wicker basket holding all my journals. A fall landscape painting once belonging to Rock’s grandmother. The rocker my mother gave me right after my first son was born. And, of course, all the pictures. Albums, frames, and boxes of photographs, each one telling a story of who we once were.

As I pack up, sell, donate, and throw away our stuff, I find myself pondering the past. Often it is shimmering in preciousness. Photos whisper memories. Objects tell of journeys. Drawers tumble out used and torn remembrances. A move forces a look back while envisioning the future. The present is a dusty reminder of the love these walls still hold as boxes begin to gather what we will bring to our new home. We let go. We breathe. We walk toward a future that isn’t quite in focus yet. Our stuff will soon find its place, corners will quickly fill with new and old, and joy will dance in each room.

“Actually, this is just a place for my stuff, ya know? That’s all; a little place for my stuff. That’s all I want, that’s all you need in life, is a little place for your stuff, ya know?” – George Carlin

A job offer has presented us with a new opportunity for adventure. We will soon move our stuff from our hometown to a bigger city filled with rivers, arches, and Cardinals. It is both exciting and terrifying, but we welcome the journey. I hope to chronicle this odyssey as we stumble toward the future. Stay tuned.