Monday, November 14, 2011
Grateful, Day 11.
11/11/2011 I am grateful for my house. No, it is not exactly what I would have pictured for a "forever house", but I am very grateful for it. I live in a safe neighborhood that is zoned for fabulous schools. I have neighbors that I can trust. We have plenty of room, inside and out.
Although I am grateful for my house, I find that it is one area that I struggle for contentment the most...Possibly because I love browsing house magazines/blogs so much!
My grandfather grew up in a New England cottage that was +/- 1,300 sf with 3 other siblings.
My mother grew up in a brick ranch house that was +/- 2,200 sf with 4 other siblings.
I grew up in a +/- 2,600 sf house with one sibling.
My two kids are growing up in a +/- 2,400 sf house.
Although family sizes are dropping, homes are getting bigger. One thing I have realized now that my grandparents have passed and my parents will soon be putting their house up for sale...It is not the house that you remember when loved ones are gone. It is the people and the memories of times with them in that house.
My great grandparent's New England cottage would not be in a magazine. It never had been "remodeled"...it didn't have a "workable" kitchen. The wallpapers were floral and the bedrooms were small...the bathrooms were VERY small and you had to watch your hot water usage. It didn't have central HVAC. But it FELT perfect. Memories were made there...we would lay awake talking at night...easy to do since my brother and I were on cots in the dining room and someone was always on the living room pull out. We would laugh about the "East Wind" that my Great Aunt always spoke of that never seemed to show up on hot summer nights when we came to visit. Hot tea on the porch...lots of laughs...great family stories...love. The house without them in it is just a house.
My grandparent's brick ranch would also have not been in a magazine. It had not been recently "remodeled". The kitchen was small. There was no rhyme or reason to the way the pictures were hung throughout the house. The everyday dishes were a simple Corelle and the silverware in the drawer didn't match. At the holidays there were always several people that would have to sleep on the couch. Again, there were hot water issues when you ran the dishwasher if someone was in the shower. But it FELT perfect. Kids, grandkids, great grandkids would pack people in the living room for Trivial Pursuit and we would just make room. There was great food...and there were always at least three women in the kitchen cooking together. There were little Snicker bars on the coffee table and Oreos in the pantry. The dishwasher/shower issue was a running joke. The conversations were generally sports, current events and politics and they were exciting! The pool table downstairs was always in use by one of the boys. We would stay up late with a really good old movie. I would spend hours playing "make-up" at my grandmother's vanity. I learned how to play croquet in the yard and we would climb the large crepe myrtle trees. I was enamored with the "crushed ice" in their fridge. Their bathroom was always stocked with a big jug of bubble bath. There were always fresh flowers from their yard and rose garden in the living room. My grandfather's stories...my grandmother's love of fashion! Oh, the way they would light up when we would come to visit! The house without them in it is just a house.
So I ask myself...would I trade a perfectly good house for a bigger and better one...straining us financially and possibly limiting our family time and creating stress, or can I Choose to Love my house and make memories right here?
I know I don't need more house to be happy, so I pray for contentment. After all, my "forever house" is not in a magazine. It is in Heaven. I am grateful for that too.