I bet I could read Katrina Kenison’s How We Spend Our Days essay every morning and take away something different. But what’s striking me at this moment is how she’s able to find beauty in the not-so-obvious things. It’s been a long time since I was even conscious of this idea.
This morning, before I reach for my laptop, I need to get a few things done. I water the houseplants, fill the birdfeeder, start a load of laundry and vacuum the dog hair off the floor. Scrub the stubborn remnants from last night’s roasting pan, carry the recycling out to the bin, straighten the magazines on the coffee table, scribble a grocery list for later.
Setting the house to rights is unavoidably, irrevocably, part of my process.
It is not a part of mine.
The house we live in has been a good house, a great house even. We’ve lived here since 1990, so the kids grew up here. Each person in our family had his or her own room. And we have rooms big enough for all of us. We were a family of six here. We can be a family of twelve here, and then some. This house has not lost its usefulness.
But I have disconnected from it. This house that I used to love, that we built to fit our family, I no longer love.
I know, as with other posts in this project, that there is more. But my gosh, it took me two and a half hours of writing and deleting to figure out what I was writing about and now my brain is fried.
Brave, very brave!
Sigrun, I appreciate your support on this one. It’s sad, too, that I feel this way about something I once loved.
3 years ago I moved from the house I lived in for most of my life. It used to be my parents home, and when I got married, my husband and I took over. We lived there with our kids for 22 years.
Then we, or mainly me, decided it was time to move on. Our kids, busy with their own lives, had no complaints – but my parents and siblings (and even friends) living in the same part of town, were not happy about us leaving the family home. To them our house seemed to be the perfect place. It was almost like we were offending them by deciding this was not the right place for us anymore.
Walking my dog in the morning I still get surprised by the beauty of my new neighborhood. I haven’t ever regretted moving – it was such a right move to make, even if it stirred up a few things at the time.
Wow, Sigrun, I think of all the memories, and all the stuff, after such a long time in one place. Childhood home, then your home. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to move. And to think it wasn’t your kids who wanted to keep you in the same place but the old guard–interesting. It’s nice to know you have no regrets. I will now think of you walking your dog : ) Katrina’s second book is all about their move from the family home when their boys were teen-agers. In my case, my husband wants to stay here, and at this point, no one right answer. But there’s no question that I’ve disconnected from this house and would prefer to find a new space, even as I would be sad to leave these spaces behind. And I do still love my study, where I’m sitting now, looking out at the woods and the dogwoods, writing to you.
Ditto what Sigrun says… 😉
And yes, Katrina Kenison’s piece is in re-read mode here as well.
Karen, I appreciate your support as well. I just read Katrina’s essay again and, in addition to the words, the feel of the piece seems to pull me in.
Oh, this is a tough one. Having moved back here when I became unable to work, not only is the house where I grew up from age 12, but my son grew up here from age 7. There’s a lot of attachment and I’m saddened when I think of having to leave. And it’s not that I haven’t longed to live elsewhere, because I have, but there’s still a deep connection to this house. I think it’s also connected to mortality of those I love—and myself—looming much larger in the window that enhances the sentiment, too. The not wanting to let go or say goodbye *sigh*
Lots of ties, I understand that, Donna. I think for most of us this decision is a difficult one, coming down to what wins out–attachment or restlessness.
I came back to this post, Cynthia. I must thank you for it. I’ve had it on my mind because the novel I’m writing is about dwellers’s attachment to houses, and a house’s attachment to its dwellers. And about some kind of wavering and changing symbiosis that exists in that. The words that you and other commenters here use in this post intrigue and inspire me that this is a theme that resonates.
“But I have disconnected from it. This house that I used to love, that we built to fit our family, I no longer love.” – Cynthia
“There’s still a deep connection to this house.” – writersideup
“To them our house seemed to be the perfect place.” – Sigrun
“I still get surprised by the beauty of my new neighborhood. ” – Sigrun
Thank you for these words…
All of this sounds fascinating, Megan. And makes me look forward to one day reading your novel! Thanks for your lovely comment. Keep writing : )