A New Year and a New Home

| January 1, 2013 | 0 Comments

My landlords called and said they would like to meet with me in person. Not good, I thought. They could tell me on the phone if they were raising my rent or changing their minds about the new carpet. Wanting an in person meeting could only mean one thing, they are selling and I will have to find another home. Sure enough, I was right. After five years of living in exactly the perfect space, I have to move. I lived the first 13 years of my marriage in the same home and only left when we moved to San Diego. Then for fourteen years we lived in the house in the suburbs, a safe family environment complete with good schools nearby. Once the kids left home for good and the dog died, we traded the suburbs for the beach life, an ocean view condo with the sand just across the street. It was a wonderful 10 years. After I became a widow, I knew I wanted to live in a more urban setting. Being alone I needed the energy of a city neighborhood. No longer did I want to be a property owner, renting was best at this point in my life. After months of looking at one uninteresting place after another, I found it, the ideal place, a high rise, open, spacious and right across the street from the park. The setting was right, the space was right, I felt like I could live here forever.

This upcoming move has me thinking about what makes a house a home. Surely the items I surround myself with play a part. I have things from over the years that connect me with specific times of my life. That’s the first fine art we could afford and there are the two brass quail I’ve owned for over 40 years, my kids still call them the mean birds. That coffee table was made out of brass from my husband’s family business and there’s the painting we bought from a little gallery near our beach condo. The sofa is new and so are some of the other pieces in my living room. They were bought specifically to fit in my present space.

Then there are the framed photos, a history that travels with me from home to home. That photo is my mom in her wedding dress, next to it one of a younger version of my mom, my sister and me. We look so good, now my mom is gone and my sister struggles with a debilitating illness. But the photo keeps us together for posterity looking healthy, vibrant and happy. Of course, the kids are represented in various stages of life and the grandkids too. There’s a whole spare bedroom dedicated to them, including the trip to Disneyworld that the family took together.

Since I got the news I find myself detaching slowly from the space itself. I know I will take the things I treasure with me, I have with every move. The other items, the ones that won’t work in my new space are, after all, just things. I know I bring my spirit with me wherever I live. At each stage of life different needs are met by the environment. A big house with a yard was perfect for a family with small children. The house with the pool was ideal when we moved to sunny San Diego where the kids spent their teen years filling that pool with lots of friends. The condo at the beach was the right move for new empty nesters, and this place by the park was has been lovely for a single woman on the go. The next step is an unknown, but I’m sure it will be the right home, it always is.

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