My recollection is clear of the feeling when I caught sight of the house that would become the first home I owned. The realtor was late and just being seeing the outside convinced us if the inside of the house was as appealing as the outside, we had found our first house to purchase. We were not disappointed and soon were in happily in debt. I know the realtor was pleased, as we had dragged her through over 100 homes over the previous months. That little house truly was “love at first sight”.
After moving into the home, we worked constantly on the house taking down wall paper, painting, cleaning up the yard, planting and all the things that made that house a home. It was the place my infant son came home to and where the retired next door neighbors became “shirt tail” grandparents. Although we only owned the house a few years, it was a wonderful “first” that is burned into my treasured memories.
In recent times due to life changes I ended up renting half a duplex for several years and was the first time I had rented in several decades. After a marital home was sold and the last bits of a divorce settlement were made I began looking for a house to purchase. This search turned out to be much like my very first home. I worked my way through one realtor and ended up on a second one before finding something I wanted to buy. The search covered 18 months and at least 75 homes that I looked at and for a second time in my life I found a home that was “love at first sight”.
Once again, I knew this house was the one I wanted when I first saw it from the outside during my lunch hour. I swear the house told me I was supposed to live here. That evening when I was able to see the inside with my realtor, I absolutely loved what I saw but was sad there was already a contract on it. In the end we stayed up late that night and made an offer anyway. I thought there was only a slight chance the first offer would fall through and I might be able to buy it. The next morning to my surprise, my contract was accepted by the sellers and I literally cried with joy.
So now I live in this wonderfully unique house that above you see the glass in one of the front doors. Boxes are everywhere, nothing has been hung on the walls and only some rooms have semi-organized furniture in them. I tell people I “live in the land of boxes” because I am taking my time to sort out my things and am lightening the load wherever I can. That is a refreshing new start for me as I begin this new phase in my life. I am so grateful to own a home again… Grateful like I was for the first home I managed to buy when I was in my 20’s.
The difficulty of the last few years is now settling into a mellow life filled with gratitude and humility. I realize now that the challenges of my life have all been to bring me to this point where I can embrace myself just as I am. Had I not experienced and endured the things that I have I would not have found this measure of wisdom I enjoy now that makes me the best I have ever been. Given time gratitude has the power to make even the bitter taste sweet.
Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest.
Henry Van Dyke