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. 


  1. This is lovely. I can SO relate. We live in a tiny place, two bedrooms. So the kids share. Everyone asks how we manage, but we just do. But it is small. The living room is also the play room, our relaxing place completely over run with toys. We have a small bedroom and one bathroom and one storage cupboard which has our entire life in it! The backyard is also more like a courtyard. Yet I still feel lucky. It was brand new when we moved in five years ago and it is close enough for Simon to ride to work and me to walk everywhere. We will move one day but we can't afford it while I'm home with the kids. I too browse real estate and drool, and I too am envious of friends (I think I'd be envious of your house!) All good things to those who wait I guess.

  2. I can so relate to this post. I thought my heart was going to be shattered all over again when we left the place that my son last lived. Turns out, I survived the move and we have created a home in our new house. It's far from my dream house, but I love it and can't imagine living anywhere else for a while.

  3. What a beautifully written post!
    When Jason and I first got together 5 years ago, I briefly moved in with him (at his parents' home) before we got our apartment.
    We moved straight from our first apartment to our first house.
    We recently abandoned our house to move back in with Jason's parents. As odd as it may sound, we love living here. In fact, we were recently offered an apartment with free rent for a few months, but I turned it down because we REALLY are happy here.

  4. To answer your question. I have a land line phone and also even a rotary dial one too. Yes this old lady is old fashioned and won't give in easily.

  5. Is that gorgeous curved front door yours? BC I love that!!!

    We moved when Grace was 8 weeks old and have spent the last 2 months just loving our new space. We had a 2 + 1 bedroom, 2 bath home in Toronto, but it just wasn't where we wanted to be... We are both country people, and so we uprooted and moved. Best decision we've ever made (other than making our babies, of course).

    I've actually surprised myself in that I don't miss our old house at all. I thought I would- it was the home I was pregnant in, and the home where I brought home my babies, and where I returned home to with empty arms one cold January day. So many memories that will stay with me forever. But this new house offers us the opportunity to make more memories, have a larger family, and offers us a reprieve from constant renovations which plagued us in the old house.

    Either way, it works.


  6. Ps. I meant to add, it looks to me like Bennett has become a little man overnight. I feel like he was JUST a baby, and then in that first picture of yours, ALL boy!


thank you!


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