59: Becoming a Home Again

59: Becoming a Home Again

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Home Sweet Home

Becoming a Home Again

Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need.

~Sarah Ban Breathnach

We bought our home thirteen years ago. It took a lot to get us into our little beach cottage. We had to scrimp and save and beg and borrow, but we did it. We bought our own home even though it started as the worst place I’d ever set foot in. It was so bad when we bought it that my foot went through the floor the first time I walked around inside.

But we fixed it. Lots of hard work, time, money, blood, sweat and tears, but we made it exactly the way we wanted it. I could tell you where every light switch and outlet is. The name of the store where we purchased the tile. The name of the paint color on the walls. The first three things we planted in the garden (three palm trees, which is why we call the house Tres Palmas). Our house became part of my identity.

We had people over constantly. We had dinners, parties, holidays, hosted family and friends from all over the world. A niece and a nephew lived with us for a few years. The house was always full of people and fun.

Then, life started to change. My niece and nephew moved out. We didn’t entertain as much. Mike and I started to work more. We didn’t eat at home as often. We began to neglect the house a little. An old beach cottage built in 1910 needs constant TLC.

Gradually, I decided I no longer liked our house. I hated that it was so small. It made me angry that the house required so much maintenance. I loathed summertime because the fog is notoriously bad for weeks at a time. I couldn’t stand our large yard because it took so much work. I wished the kids at the school next to our house would stop making so much noise. The house that had been my dream home became the house I didn’t want to go home to.

Then, life changed. My husband and I had a son. I focused, as new mothers do, only on my son. I didn’t put any time or energy into the house. I sort of forgot about it. I had bigger, well technically a smaller, fish to fry. A six-pound, five-ounce fish to be exact. I worked less, stayed home more, started having family and friends over again. We almost always ate at home as a family. I even started hosting parties again. Over the course of about a year, I realized I was once again enjoying our home.

Now that we are a little family, I realize that many of the reasons I didn’t like our house are now the same reasons I love it all over again. It is small, but it’s cozy. I like that the fog keeps the summers from being too hot, so my son and I can walk to the beach and play in the sand or look for beach glass. I love the big yard because it’s a great place for my son and his friends to play. I love hearing the laughter coming from the kids at the school next door and feel lucky that when my son is old enough, he will be attending that school and that I’ll be able to peek through our fence and watch him while he plays on that playground.

Home isn’t about the physical space or the location. It’s about what goes on inside. The people, the fun, the happiness, and mostly, the love. It took a big change in my life to make me fall in love with my house all over again. But I did, because this little house has become a home again.

~Crescent LoMonaco

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