Standing squarely, both feet planted firmly on the ground and staring straight down the road toward a brand new life one cannot help but feel a range of emotions. There is excitement and anticipation for the adventure that is about to begin and yet it is accompanied by tinges of nostalgia and sadness for that which is being left behind.
This is what I’ve been experiencing on a nightly basis upon my return home from work. I have moved many times in my life. Twelve to be exact… and yes that makes this particular move of mine “Lucky Number 13.” But for anyone who has moved you know that some homes hold special places in your heart. This home has been just that for me.
I consider myself fortunate to have called so many unique, beautiful and interesting places “home” over the years — like a dude ranch high in the breathtaking Colorado Rockies and an ancient adobe-turned-studio-apartment in New Mexico (where I slept in a loft above my walk-in closet… accessible only by an equally-old, wooden ladder.)
Also in New Mexico, there was the four-bedroom, brick ranch that I helped to gut and remodel with my own two hands, blood, sweat and tears… And the gorgeous upstairs condo overlooking a bare, unblemished desert. From my windows there I could watch the mountains as they transformed from purple to a fiery salmon and eventually a deep blue in one 24-hour period.
And as fascinating and different and “exotic” as those destinations were from the place in Northeastern Ohio where I was born, raised and currently reside… my simple two-bedroom home has been a sanctuary. I walked in the door three years ago… 50 pounds overweight and pretty beaten down by life. Suffice it to say that it was through both circumstance and choice that I arrived in this state of being and unpacked my things within these walls a completely different person than the one who is typing these words.
The 100 year old charm is built right in, constantly making itself known in the creak of each floorboard — this home, all that surrounds it and the time that I have spent here has literally served in the re-building of me. It sits across the street from my parents, two blocks from my sister and seven nieces and nephews and is literally surrounded on ALL other sides by people who knew me as a child.
In the town that I came from and during the time in which I grew up there, the notion that it takes a village to raise a child was not only accepted it was EXPECTED. So when I returned to that very same neighborhood, 33 and broken, it seemed that my family, everyone around me, as well as the house and the neighborhood itself… all had a hand in putting me back together again.
With just the tiniest bit of sadness and a giant heap of gratitude I have begun re-packing my things into boxes and am thrilled at the thought of a new life ahead. The lump in my throat that forms each time I remove a picture from the wall tells me that the house’s work is done now. At least it is for me.
With hammers, nails, lumber, drywall and shingles it provided a quiet shelter during the storms, a safe place to pause and heal, reflect, refresh, reset and renew. It has finished its work in me. And when I leave my keys behind, I’ll know the time has come to move on.
11 thoughts on “The House That Re-Built Me”
What a wonderfully charming house! Those floors are gorgeous!
I will miss YOU inside the house that is so quaint, colorful and says “YOU.”
What a beautiful talent to be able to articulate your feelings. I feel so connected to your pain and then to your joy, not by physically being in your everyday life, but by reading your words. I enjoy all your writings (though I rarely comment) and always look forward to opening my email so I can read your thoughts of the day! Cheers to the next chapter of your life and writing about it! deb
Thank you so much Deb. You are so kind. I miss you and New Mexico. I hope all is well!
I am currently going through a divorce and am terribly attached to my house. I find myself missing it when I am in it.
I am sorry to hear this. I know it is so sad. I have been divorced twice but none of the places I lived mattered. I wish happiness and peace as you move forward in life.
I’m so sorry Cheri to hear this. I left you a longer message on your blog. I wish the very best for you. 😉
Isn’t odd how we can actually get so attached to a house? The great thing is that when you get to the next one you will add touches that will make it more familiar and warm too you. And of course their is the husband that will really add too it!
Love the pic of Stanley waiting at the door – oh so cute! You hit the nail on the head when it comes to defining what a home is and what it means to be the caretaker of a home. I am only on my 2nd home (built from the ground up) and my 1st home being a fixer upper with loads of character – each has left a memory or two in my heart where it will stay forever. Thanks for sharing!
I will miss the ever-so-spacious downstairs bathroom!!!