Monday, September 10, 2012
on comfort and contentment
Every now and I again I develop a terrible 'we must move!' itch. It's a compulsion (I guess?) that comes around every few months and the only way to put it to rest is to seek out every single house for sale in our area that we could afford (ish) and realize none of them are right for us.
I like to find really cheap houses that would require so much work it would knock us straight over as soon as we walked in the door.
I like to find dream houses that are way out of our price range. My favorite houses are in the $400-500,000 range. That's a whole lot of house we don't need, but they sure are pretty.
This morning I was cleaning Bennett's room when I heard a quiet knock at the door. My neighbor and I were planning on walking (Mondays is our day to get out and move!) so I assumed it was her. I opened the door to find her five-year-old holding a note.
While on vacation a couple weeks ago my neighbor dropped her phone in a washer full of water. Neither of us have landlines (who does?) so we've had to find other ways to communicate.
I dashed out a quick note and sent it back with her little guy. I stood on the porch watching him run down the sidewalk, arms outstretched, white note fluttering and I thought, how charming.
Another neighbor was across the street gathering children for the walk to school. I crossed to the middle of the street (in my pajamas!) so we could chat for a minute. She told me she bought my book and was looking forward to reading it.
I went back in the house. A few minutes later I heard the soft tink of the door knocker. Another note! I threw open the door, pen in hand, ready to send my neighbor's son home with a second reply.
Last weekend the neighbor next to us gave Bennett a tool box for his birthday. He loves it SO much. He's been hauling it everywhere. I find screws, hammers and wrenches all over the house.
It's these tiny moments and big gifts that make me realize we live in a wonderful place. Our house isn't big, but it's big enough for us. It doesn't have everything I want, like a second bathroom, but it fits our needs. It doesn't have a big kitchen, or a master bedroom and it's certainly not a newer home, but it's quaint and charming and when I told J I thought just maybe I had found our dream home (it was so not) a couple days ago I think I might have been wrong.
What if this is our dream home? What if our five-ten year home becomes our forever home? What if I learn to be content with having a roof over my head (which is such a blessing), fabulous neighbors and an easy walk to places I love? What if I put aside my desire to have a bigger house with a bit more land and find ways to make this space beautiful? What will happen if I stop looking at my friend's houses with envy (you do it too, don't you?).
For a few seconds I thought of moving and my heart cried out, "What about my hardwood floors, and my picture window, and the quaint front closet, and the tiny bathroom where my water broke at 8am on a May morning, and the beautiful shed J just built and my friends and the fact that we are content here?"
We've lived here four years. It's our first home. There is contentment and comfort in these walls. Grief too. Oh, these walls have heard some wailing. My heart dreams of an old home with a library, spacious kitchen and huge garden, but we fit here. And I am beginning to realize much will be required to move me from this place.