24: Dream Home

24: Dream Home

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Home Sweet Home

Dream Home

Home interprets heaven. Home is heaven for beginners.

~Charles Henry Parkhurst

My boyfriend and I had been planning to get our own place. We were in our early twenties and we wanted to stop living with roommates and trying to collect the rent from them.

One night we were at a party close to where we lived. It was a beautiful night so we escaped the crowd, walked down the beach to lie on the sand, and looked up at the stars. While gazing into the starry universe I said, “If we’re going to do this, be together and live on this island, then we should live on the beach. The North Shore of Oahu is the ultimate place to be. There’s nowhere else like it on earth.”

A few days later I had a dream, one of those vivid dreams that you don’t want to wake up from. In the dream my boyfriend and I were in a small beach house, sitting on a bed looking out sliding glass doors to the lanai (deck) that lay on the edge the beach. The vast sea shined as far as I could see. In the dream I was super happy and walked onto the wooden lanai that was painted a brick-red color. I had the dream several times and was always happy to go to that place.

A year later, a friend stopped by to ask for our help. We sat at the kitchen table listening to his sad story about his break up with his girlfriend. Because he wasn’t a full-time Hawaii resident he needed someone to live in his house now that they had broken up and she had moved out. He came to his place only twice a year to surf and spent the rest of the time on the mainland, so he asked if we would consider it. We knew the house was across the highway and also on the beach. He told us he’d rent it for less than what we were paying at the time.

Before he left he simply said, “Think about it.”

We watched him walk down the hill and out of sight before we broke the silence. “Think about it? Of course we want to live in that house!”

Moving in was a cinch because we had only the basics. It didn’t take long to set up our own place — at last!

Being beach people, surfers, and sailors, we settled right in to the constant sound of the ocean; morning, noon, and night. Every day was a new moving picture.

The house needed lots of work, so we began fixing and maintaining it. One morning I was cleaning the lanai by hosing off the salt. Just outside the sliding glass doors, a piece of dark green deck paint flaked off. Underneath the color was brick red! My heart fluttered as I blasted more of the green paint off to reveal the red, the exact same color that I had seen so many times in my dream. I called my boyfriend at work and told him — we couldn’t believe it. I knew right then this was where we were supposed to be.

Twenty-six years later my boyfriend is now my husband of twenty three-years. And we are still renting our dream home on the beach. We’ve patched, painted, rescreened and fixed the fuzzy wooden windowsills that salt air got the best of more times then we can count. We’ve re-roofed, termite tented, and trimmed the surrounding hedges and coconut trees many times too. We’ve watched the surf outside change with the seasons, and even experienced hurricanes and fast moving water wash under the house and through the yard.

Some of our best memories are of playing in the waves on boards and boats, enjoying the tranquil summer water, fishing, diving, floating around, and watching the sunset after a long day of work. We’ve thrown dozens of parties and danced the night away on the lanai with all our crazy friends.

We were married on the sand in front of the house. We raised our son here and celebrated birthdays and holidays throughout the years by decorating the house in every imaginable theme.

Our son just left for college. The room that went from nursery to grammar school clutter to teenage mess has been cleared out.

From where I sit on the lanai I can still see through the layers of paint to the brick red color. I know we’ll soon be prepping and painting again. But it’s all been worth it because this place is most definitely home sweet home. Aloha!

~Kerry Germain

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