This Must Be The Place

(via The Great Remodel)

I called Brett (our realtor) and asked her if she would help us find a crappy little house. Definitely a ranch, definitely on the west side because the Coastal Trail and I have a love affair going on, and good love affairs last a lifetime.

I said crappy in the sense that we wanted something old, worn, where the foundation had time to settle and the trees (must have trees) had time to grow. Old, so I wouldn't feel bad ripping its guts when the time comes to make the place ours, because paying a mortgage is only half of owning. The other half - the good one - is the one you pour over the house over time.

Brett found us a house and as much as I am excited, I am leaving a really good half in our old place. The one I bought on my own when I was 26, where the cat and I moved into. It seemed so big then, so much room. I planted trees and roses that remind me of my grandma. I painted, and repainted, and painted again every single wall. Then came Tim and my closet became smaller, and my drawers were shared. The trees gave apples, and we planted peonies. I soaked a spot on the living room carpet with my tears when we lost a baby. We replaced all the flooring, and carpet, and painted, and repainted, and moved things around before Benjamin came. There are two little holes on the wall at the top of the stairs where the baby gate used to be that I haven't repaired because they are less a blemish and more a beauty mark. A sign that we grew. The house seems so small now, so little room.

Today we did one last walk through in the new to us house. Brett told me that she has helped quite a few people buy houses lately, but this one is one of her favorites. She recognized a lilac and a raspberry bush in the backyard, and we think the tree up front is a willow. The tulips popping up their green heads are easing the blow of losing my peonies, but I'm still sad about leaving my apple trees.

Tomorrow we sign the papers, and by the end of the month our current house will be someone else's. So many lives converging on a dotted line. This must be the place where hope and nostalgia meet. But I am ready to paint and repaint, arrange, and pour over, and some day, when we know each other well, we will make her ours too.

"Home is where I want to be, but I guess I am already there. I guess this must be the place, I can't tell one from another. Did I find you, or did you find me? If someone asks, this is where I'll be." - Talking Heads


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