Sunday, June 08, 2008

Houses, houses, and more houses

My parents have lived in the same house as long as I can remember, so for me that place still has a strong sense of being home. At some point when I was a kid I realized I would grow up, move out and then make my own home. For a long time I always felt that I wanted to buy an older house in the country with a porch and hardwood floors. There'd be an enormous yard with a couple of animals and somehow I would have a fabulous vegetable garden. I tended to gloss over details like mowing, tilling and weeding, though. And God only knows that it never occurred to me that I might marry a Frenchman and move to Europe.

Then I'd collect memories and add them to this imagined home. The magnolia tree was inspired by a conversation I had with a girl at college who was a c0-counselor for the summer Japanese exchange program. We were walking back from town when we passed this enormous magnolia tree, and she told me that when she was a little girl her mother used to cut the blooms and bring them into her room at night in a cup full of water and she'd fall asleep in a room filled with this marvelous smell. She said that her mom did one special thing like that for each sibling that she didn't do for any of the others. It was such a beautiful memory for her and a beautiful story for me that I decided to keep it.

The lilac bush comes from my sister and the forsythia from my grandfather. Any fruits and vegetables that manage to eke out of the ground would be from my parents, particularly strawberries and sweet corn. I believe that my idea of the house comes from my Great-aunt Hattie, whom I barely remember. I do remember visiting her old house one day and deciding I wanted to live in one just like it after my cousins moved in (though as I recall, my parents thought that might not be the best idea). Since living in Japan I secretly long for a tatami room but know while that desire is technically possible, it's going to take some time and money and perhaps a lot of convincing of the husband. we've started looking at houses there have been signs that perhaps I shouldn't hold on too hard to these tiny details. I'll try to post about them soon. I could have had my lilac bush and could have had the old house with those awesome wooden floors, but it was just all wrong for us. We have seen one place that I didn't like initially but by the time we left, we both saw a lot of potential. It's nothing at all like I imagined, but I think we could be happy there. We'll see...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

House hunting can be a chore, but take your time and enjoy seeing all the houses and think about what you can do with one when you finally do fine the right one.
Hope you have a good week. Starting to storm better go.