There’s no place like home – Dorothy knew that. I wish we didn’t live in a world that has turned housing into an investment and privilege instead of leaving it as a basic right, but here we are.
This is my third house as an adult. My first home-away-from-home that wasn’t post-secondary was an apartment in Langley. I loved it, mostly because it was a home of my own. Which is a serious step up from a room of one’s own, something else I think most of us need.
We had a good time in that apartment. I had friends nearby some of whom are friends still. I had some bad times too, but then again, that’s life.
It wasn’t a real grown-up house, however. I lived there during my gap years as I raised money for university and waited to get admitted into a residential eating disorder program. I was still a student, still waiting for life.
My first grownup house was the condo my son’s father and I shared. We lived there before his appearance, but with the number of kids slated to be three, it was apparent we’d outgrown the space. We moved twice more before going our separate ways.
The home I’m in now is my fresh start home. It’s good to leave a place that has negative memories. We’ve built some lovely ones here.
My house is at the end of a cul-de-sac that peels off from another cul-de-sac. It’s very private and pretty quiet for the suburbs. That’s helped by the fact that my house backs onto green space. I like not only the privacy, but the bunnies, squirrels, birds, coyotes, and occasional bear that happens by. The raccoons I could live without, given their propensity for cat-eating and rather aggressive nature that doesn’t fear people at all, though they’re the cutest things, at least when they’re not sizing you up for lunch.
My house isn’t open-concept, and I like it that way. I like having a separate dining space, and a more formal living room where the piano lives. The family room and kitchen are essentially one space so I sometimes tell people that my floor plan is semi-open, mostly so I can watch them look confused.
My house has lots of turns and corners, which makes getting cross-breezes in the summer a nightmare. It also means that the bedrooms are quiet.
The stairs to the basement and laundry are steep and plentiful – seventeen. My brother regularly tells me the slope of the stairs isn’t code. What concerns me more is that the carpet needs to be replaced.
My house turns twenty-six this year. Not old as buildings go, but old enough that much is needing work. The basement carpet isn’t the only bit of flooring that needs attention. The flooring on the whole main level needs to be redone. Ditto the bathrooms, though a refresh is probably sufficient. Except for the tub-showers. They leak and need to be replaced. The en suite is already in progress, so there’s that.
And we’re not going to talk about kitchens.
I keep hoping for a lottery win to make her shine like new again, but even faded, my home is my happy place. I chose it, you see, a first for that as well. Up until this one, I listened to what other people had to say and went with their “suggestions.”
Sometimes I have buyer’s remorse – I wouldn’t mind converting the house into one with a suite, for instance, but this floor plan makes that a challenging and expensive proposition. And living at the bottom of three hills makes trips out and back a challenge every season.
Bikes are no longer my friend.
Those things, however, are cosmetic. My abode-irritations are mostly surface issues, and for that I’m grateful.
I love my house. I’d hate for it to be unwell.
header credit – The Painted Bench