I just caught myself rockin’ out to Franz Ferdinand in the kitchen of our new place. Not too hard – Kennedy’s asleep upstairs. But just enough to get a “whoo!” from my neighbor across the way who saw me through my window that I didn’t realize the drapes were pulled up on.
We moved just after the first of the year, and settling in has been difficult. We moved from California into my parents’ guest room. We stayed there just long enough to accumulate a few more items, and then we moved again. We compounded our moves. Unpacking has been a nightmare. I opened one box labeled “Kitchen” and found speaker equipment that had clearly been packed by my husband. I won’t harp on him too much, though. After all, he did have the task of completely emptying out the California house by himself in the week after Kennedy and I left. Oh, and he drove all of our stuff across country, too. I digress…
Yesterday, one of our pictures got damaged as we shuffled furniture around, so today I decided it’d be best to put our art onto the walls to prevent further casualties. I’d say this act was the symbolic breaking in of our new residence. I spent a good hour and a half arranging photos and art onto wall space just as I had done three and a half years ago when we bought the California house. Little did I know then that I’d only be there for a short stint. When I moved in there, I was queen of the castle. I thought I’d never leave, and if I did, it would be for something bigger and better.
In the months since the move, I’ve thought back on that house every day, remembering the things I loved about it, what I miss most, what I hope to have again in my next home purchase, etc. We certainly didn’t move on up when we settled on the 1200 sq ft townhome we currently live in, which is about one bedroom of living space smaller than what we had in California, and a little under one half of the price per month. However, as I happily bounced around in my kitchen this evening, cooking my dinner as Kennedy ate hers from her high chair, I realized that my pictures and mirrors and clay-tile-discounted-at-Kohl’s-art were making me feel like myself again – my whole self. It’s as if my grandparents are happy to be out of the box and back on the wall again. And I feel so relieved and normal and comfortable and Antoinette again seeing their faces gaze over my living room once more. The point I’m getting to with all of this delayed imagery: it doesn’t really matter what the abode is. You can live in a 600 sq ft apartment, in a farmhouse on four acres of land, in a 1400 sq ft house in the neighborhood you’ve dreamed of living in since you were a teenager, or in a penthouse – it’s what you bring there that makes it home. The walls don’t comfort and hold you. Your memories, treasures, and keepsakes do.