I have been noticing my home lately. A lot. The little things that I find beautiful, the reasons that brought us here. The molding and arches in the living and dining room, for instance.
Thirty-two years ago, that's when we came, in the dead of winter. At the time, much of the house had been recently re-done. A new kitchen, new paper and paint everywhere, a new heating system (which was to prove a costly nightmare, but: whatever). The French doors gleamed, the glass sparkled, and the brass hinges shone.
I was newly pregnant with our boys and desperately ill on the sixteen-degree day on which we moved in. My husband set up the bed and I crawled in; perhaps, I thought, never to be heard from again.
Bu the house eventually filled with light and laughter: three children and their friends, and a succession of dogs, cats, birds, and one guinea pig. Woodwork and linoleum took a beating, floors got scuffed, rugs got peed on. Family life. A lot of things broke ~ the house is now nearly 100 years old ~ and some of them got fixed.
After our son died, no one cared about home maintenance anymore. We were focused on survival, and the house became pretty dilapidated. We did some work on the outside, but the inside continued to crumble.
We are beginning, finally, to develop plans and estimates for an overhaul of the third floor. It has been well-occupied by teenagers and young adults for the past 35 years, meaning that it needs . . . everything. I suppose that's why I'm more alert to my surroundings in general, what with trying to re-imagine bedrooms and bath. That and the knowledge that we will most certainly move sometime in the next decade.
So, I'm paying attention. It really is a beautiful home.