A couple things lately have made me mindful of the huge difference between a house and “home”. Design is exceptionally important when it comes to living in a house – the most well designed houses are those that “work”, meaning efficient spaces, excellent traffic patterns, abundant natural light and ventilation, and no over-arching maintenance concerns.
? Well, it’s ohsomuchmore than design.
My architect husband, Chris, and I spent the lion’s share of last Sunday tearing out the circa 1949ish “picture window” (7’ long by 4’ tall – what a view from the sink to the back yard!) from our kitchen wall and replacing it with an energy-efficient, beautiful wood-framed triple double-hung unit. As I sat on the deck, gazing through the gaping hole in the wall and awaiting instruction for my next task, I got to thinking about the many, many memories we’ve made in that kitchen, in that house. I spent countless hours fixing birthday dinners and baking birthday cakes, preparing gourmet meals for family and friends and the occasional “popcorn and milkshake” Sunday dinners.
For twenty-one years running, that kitchen overflowed with people full of Christmas joy at our annual holiday gatherings. I’ve nursed three children through sickness and stitches, broken hearts and broken promises, joyously witnessed their triumphs and cried with them over their failures, in that house.
We have twice re-floored the kitchen, thrice re-painted the old, old pine cupboards. I bathed tiny baby #3 and canned tomatoes in that kitchen sink, peeled, cored and prepped probably tons of veggies over time.
The newest task for the sixty-plus year old heavy-duty stainless steel sink and counters is as the worksite for some of the best home-brewed beer made anywhere – a task for which the entire family has, for one batch or another, gladly offered their assistance.
I left my deck chair and headed into the kitchen to look through the wall to the outside and stood, transfixed, memories flooding back of more than 20 years of play in that back yard. It’s been only in the last few years that grass has truly taken root, grown green and, well, almost lush. Years of childhood play – kicked soccer balls, tossed Frisbees, backyard swimming pools, snow forts, races, summernighttime tag and firefly catching – all took a huge toll on the lawn. I could hear their voices – my kids and all the neighborhood kids – laughter, shrieks, sometimes tears – echoing through my mind.
This is what home is.
This is what home is.
There’s a Dallas TX Architect whose blog I follow. His post from last Monday entitled "Someone Wants to Buy My House" drew me back into my Sunday afternoon reverie. We often think about selling our old house. I mean, do we really need a big old 4-bedroom house with its demanding attitude for maintenance
? Two of the three kids have moved on, #3 will shortly do the same. We long for a sleek, modern, smaller home that we’ve designed. And yet, moving out of this love-and-laughter-filled house will be tough.
|Even Mum and the Cat get to rest sometimes|