The house is 2,300 square feet of possibility…plus a basement. Though no direct sun falls on its windows, they capture enough light to cast a warm glow on the floors and walls of the interior. The carpet in the great room is new, but there is a sense that minor repairs have gone unaddressed for too long. It is as if the house was newly purchased after sitting on the market for an extended period, and has yet to be inhabited by its new owners. Figuratively, that would be the case, because although I own and generally reside in the house, I have yet to spiritually inhabit it.
Pity for the house, really, and for the builders. It’s a fine place and solidly constructed. It all but cries out to be crammed with family and memories and pictures and laughter and fun and whatever else an idealist imagines should be there. Right now, it has only me. Me and some mostly old furniture that does the place little justice.
I have looked around and thought of how much I love the place. I love it because though it might be tough to tell now, there have been good, even great times there. There have been first days of school, birthday celebrations, cook outs and at least one excellent holiday season. There had been love. The house has been a wonderful backdrop for all of that and I owe it a debt of gratitude. I owe it — her — some love.
As I work my way through the mundanities of life that claw at my ankles like reckless swimmers caught in a riptide, I can feel from the house the insistent expectation that we start sitting down for coffee in the mornings. The grand times we’ve shared have been too much like good visits to favorite cousins that end too soon and are too far apart. My house is saying to me that if we’re going to be together, this business of me treating her like a favorite bed-and-breakfast is over. She’s opening her heart to me. I know from experience that’s a good place to be. She’s well built, loving, comforting, cool in the summer, warm in the winter and she won’t welcome anyone except me, my family and my friends.
She has every right to expect more from me. I owe her my heart and soul. I’ve worked through enough of my crap to take the first tentative steps toward offering those to her. But, aside from what she already brings to the table, what I love most about her is she prefers gifts from Home Depot rather than Jared.