Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Kind of House I Belong In

I've never known exactly the kind of home I belong in.

 I decided a long time ago it was wherever my husband and children were.

I also admit I sometimes regret passing up the offer of my childhood home but at the time I wasn't looking for a large rambling two-story house. I only wanted a cottage.

Then my husband and I had five babies. And life grew. And now I toy with the idea of a large covered area outside so we can fit the extended family in when we get together for a Saturday night gumbo or Sunday meal or holiday and birthday celebrations.

Instead I have ended up in my husband's childhood home (ironic much?) and he added on a very nice covered patio attached to the living area which extends us and allows romping room for the boys.


Then this pops up: Danbury Home of Laura Ingalls' Wilder's Daughter

And as the slideshow and legacy unfolds, I realize it's pretty much me.

 
The house has the charm of the past, is spaciously spread, old but not new and new but not old, and its vintage character has enough knicks and bumps to forgive a houseful of children who knick and bump it.
 
It's the character I love the most. It isn't square and plain. It's rambling and crazy and winding and all over the place; kind of like my thought process.

There's an adventure around every corner and enough sunlit rooms to dispel shadowy days and enough shadowy nooks to blanket you in rainy day bliss.


 
Such a beautiful sunroom. I've always wanted a sunroom. And I have a slab on the back of my house where I could see doors like this opening onto such but my husband doesn't see the vision. Where I see a beautiful open room (complete with a/c for these hot Louisiana summers) for writing while the children play, he sees wasted space.

This is exactly what my husband will explain to visitors as my "wasted space" room. But I was so excited when I got it. And it's always promised much more than I could deliver. It's the tactical skills I lack.

I never thought of myself as a visionary but I guess I am one.

{I really do appreciate the mechanical people in my life who have to deal with us visionaries taking up their time and space. But without visionaries, think of all the *wasted* space there would be. Think of all the gaps. ;-) It took me as much time to appreciate them as it took for them to appreciate me, I'm sure of it. Together, we make a beautiful balance.}


Then there are those peaceful window seats. Not worthy of magazine status but open to laps and good books and daydreams and children with toys and lazy cats and playful dogs. And video games, no doubt. And Ipads and all those things my grandchildren will know about that I won't. But the atmosphere...not to mention that huge plated window and household smells...add a lot to whatever lies in our laps.

It's not always what's directly in front of us that matters, but the things that lie around us.



And nooks and bookshelves built into walls. Gobs and oodles of 'em.


There's those swinging saloon doors I've always wanted between my kitchen and sitting room. I even "envision" my three grandsons, gun holsters on their side and cowboy hats atop their heads, running through those doors and glorying in the swinging motion until the inevitable collision occurs.


This house has brick walls I simply love.


I even had my husband keep the brick wall uncovered when we redid a small carpot into a "keeping" room, simply because I couldn't bear to cover it. We let Annie paint it though.


And there are openings in the wall for kids to climb through and peer through. I have three little boys who visit my home under the oaks. Please indulge me in my visionary state. ;-)


And this brick step that trips me back to a half-moon brick step in the house I grew up in.

All the old wood.

And old oak beams that have told countless stories to spiders and flies. And old wood floors...wide with memories...that pound loud the hammering run of children's footsteps. No need to apologize for the dents and scuffs. This house embraces it all. Welcomes it even.

 

And a butler pantry with a coffee station off the kitchen. Can I sign the check right now?

And bedrooms with doors leading straight outside...because I like the idea of awakening to fresh air and coffee in the morning.


And rooms that curve off rooms and don't go anywhere and then meets home again.


 
And empty rooms with seamless possibilities. The people in my life will never understand that some people need a built in library because our brains can't hold and our pocketbooks can't afford all the things we wish to learn and all the places we want to explore and all the information we wish to gather.

A library is a cheap investment to a lifestyle we are limited in living.


And a kitchen that's almost like mine...only there's a beloved, lasting brick floor instead of linoleum and it's a bit more encompassing for cooking when there's multiple cooks in the kitchen and we keep bumping into one another. #happensallthetime



And the yard and patio. Need I say more?



The added bonus...and the reason I even took an interest in a house that's so far across the country from my little cottage in the swamps...is that it belonged to the mute writer who helped her mother pen the books that taught me all I needed to know about home and relationships.

This is an author's house. It speaks to me in a private conversation that only visionaries can appreciate.

The house is not new. By far. But that endears it to me even more. I appreciate a house that allows the breeze from the windows to dust the furniture and natural light to enhance the room. I'm not much for housework but I fancy myself to be. My main form of housework is to tidy-up. A good tidy-up is always a good thing. I've gathered a routine of tidying at night after everyone else has gone to bed and the little boys have gone home. I have a live-in laundry maid (in training, let's say) and a dishwasher who needs training in diligence. Still, it makes me feel better to say I have one though sometimes it's easier to just do the work then to track down and reprimand the hired help. ;-) Tidying-up is what keeps my sanity in check.

A house like this (built in 1879) has had so many years of dust and grim that it's coated in humble, well-intentioned acceptance of the past, present, and future. I love that.

It lives. It breathes. Even more so, it embraces life.

I'm sold.

If it wasn't a handful of states away...and costs double what it would cost down in the grassy swamps of Louisiana. :-(

* * * *
 
Least anyone think I'm ungrateful for the house I have, I want to say I'm totally not.
 
I'm a writer and writers put into words their visions. We're loud....in a quiet sort of way. We aren't vocal but people have all kinds of things to say about us when they read our thoughts...because many people don't ever voice their thoughts the way a writer does. We're a little more exposed...and people wonder why we hide.
 
I am at a place in my life...literally and figuratively...where I appreciate what I have and what I don't have. I jokingly tell my family I ended up with a black van and a black dog and I never wanted either: the black van due to the heat element or a black dog because I had a black poodle for 16 years. I've ended up with both.
 
I told my husband that I have never gotten exactly what I wanted in life but I have always had more than I ever needed.
 
This post isn't about being ungrateful. This sharing is only a walk down a visionary road. You're welcome to join me but, please, never assume I'm ungrateful.
 
I'm hoping to coin another post about what I'm reading...and thoroughly enjoying and how this visionary walk makes our lives happier and more content if we only enjoy the decorating of life and looking at it from the many angles that one takes when rearranging the living room furniture. It's a fun walk...if we envision it to be.   +

1 comment:

  1. Fun tour! I love the brick walls and floor, the windows and spacious kitchen. Nice to dream!

    ReplyDelete

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