So our rented house might be just a few years shy of a century old. Our deck might be rotted in spots and in need of something a little more rugged than a neighborhood hardware-store-loaned power washing. The stucco siding might be flaking off and our basement seeps water at the slightest hint of rainfall.
There's no central air and the furnace is as old as our 92 year-old neighbor. We pay almost as much, if not more, for monthly rent than our friends with brand new 3 and 4 bedroom houses. Our kitchen countertop is made of fake butcher block (but it's a long way from the laminate countertops of apartments past).
Our landscaping is a far cry from anything you'd see on HGTV, but with a little weedkiller and a lot of patience, we've managed to do wonders with the little trees and bushes we've got.
Our house may be a rental and it may be falling a part, but for the first time in four years of apartment-living, we have our own fenced in yard, stairs to climb and multiple floors and rooms just ripe for our living in. We're living in a super cute college town, within walking distance of a downtown area chock full of restaurants and boutiques, mouth watering French bakeries and homemade Italian gelato shops.
Our yard gives Hubs and I a taste of what it's like to have to mow every. single. weekend. And shovel in arctic conditions. And seed and re-seed when it seems as if the local robins only like to eat the grass seed from our yard.
But secretly? I love this house. I love our little slice of suburbia. I love our little disheveled yard.
Just last night, I sat out in our yard with Sully, surrounded by citronella candles, relaxing on an old quilt, while we listened to a guy and his guitar put on a live concert in the park across the street. I listened to his beautiful voice as I watched handfuls of little kids dancing and running around the field. I watched parents mingle, many holding red Solo cups and imagined the conversations they were having.. Little Johnnie's last day of 1st grade, the plans for Little Jane's first birthday party. Who's summering where and who's husband just bought the new boat thats sitting in the lot across the street.
This is the town where Hubs and I went to college. Where we met, where we fell in love and where our roots first took anchor. Its where I learned how to be a nurse. Where I found my calling in Oncology. It's where I met my bridesmaids and my soul sisters. This town is full of memories. Just like our house.
Remember that time I cried because we couldn't fit our bureau upstairs and we had to put it in the kitchen? Or the time I almost got knocked out by the ceiling fan in our bedroom because I jumped up on the bed to get a closer look at the mammoth stinkbug invading my closet? I cried then too.. But those tears quickly turned to laughter once you came running as I explained the THUMP and the undecipherable screaming that ensued. Remember when we had to donate our perfectly good microfiber couch to Goodwill when it wouldn't fit in the living room? And we had to sit on the aerobed to watch TV?
I know how much you hate this house.
But I love this stupid, old, frustrating, falling-apart house.
Because home is where the heart is. And my heart is here.