Thursday, March 7, 2013
to our first home
at 4:41 AM
Dear Little House on Jessica Lane,
I've had mixed feelings about you, the silent witness to our first year of marriage.
You've seen every argument, every laughing fit, every dinner party...even the night we got engaged, with Steak-n-Shake bags littering the living room floor as Trevor and I slow danced in the kitchen. That same night that I began to panic as I realized I would soon learn to be a wife in this house.
Your back yard, I love. Those hardwood floors? Classy. (Until, of course, the vacuum cleaner salesman scratched them mercilessly.) And that weeping willow that so graciously fills our bedroom window in the summertime? Heaven.
But other aspects have been less endearing: the mysterious orange goo oozing out of the ceilings, for instance. What is that? And why does it have to be so decidedly orange, so similar in color to those hideous handtowels of Trevor's that I so long to throw away? And even more offensive is the reoccuring mold that, I've discovered, is even more stubborn than I.
And the neighborhood, well, it's interesting. The neighborhood where small children run half-naked through yards, waving their toy guns at passersby. Whose residents leave their Christmas lights up until July. Where someone was, according to local legend, stabbed to death not so long ago.
It's not exactly the stuff dreams are made of.
But in spite of these things, in spite of the mold and sketchy location, you've somehow made me feel safe. Cozy, even. You are just a little house at the end of a lane, but you have become a home. Because the year and a half I've lived here hasn't been about exquisite interior decoration or looking like a Pottery Barn catalog. Martha Stewart, I realized, would never drive to our home and tsk at the electric blue paint on our bedroom walls.
We wouldn't have had as much to laugh about if it weren't for your squeaky cabinet doors, you attraction for creatures big and small, your ability to somehow grow a mushroom out of the bathroom floor (don't ask.)
Our time in your four walls was about finding joy in living simply; in celebrating the small victories that assured us we were on our way to becoming adults ("I remembered to blow the candles out! We won't catch the bookshelf on fire this time!") It was about learning to laugh at the imperfections and appreciate what we had.
Someday soon, hopefully, I will be enjoying a washing machine I don't have to walk outside to use. Maybe even a dishwasher, if I'm lucky. But my biggest hope is that I won't ever take for granted the simple things, like the way the light in a living room becomes something out of a fairytale right around dusk.
I may grumble about you, little house, but I think you know by now I really don't mean it. I wouldn't trade the memories and stories you've given to me for anything. Not even a dishwasher.