Waaaay back in February I began a series entitled “FAQ”. Those Frequently Asked Questions that folks tend to ask about our life on the road and the work we do. I’ve been quite remiss about following through with that series, but I recently received an email chock full of some great questions, so it seemed like a good time to get back on track.
Do you miss your house? I KNOW you don’t miss insuring, maintaining, and cleaning it, not to mention paying property taxes on it. But do you miss the whole notion of h-o-u-s-e and h-o-m-e. Not having a place of my own is a daunting thought. I love my husband of 36 years. But I also like curling up in one room with a book at night while he is watching the game in another room.
Ah yes, the house thing. When I would tell my friends about the 5 Year Plan (when the kids are out of college, he said, let’s sell the house, buy an RV, take a year off and travel around the country) they wouldn’t say – wow, you’re going to take a year off and travel? They would say – you have to sell your HOUSE?????
With a big gulp I would shake my head and say, yep, that’s the plan. This is the house that we lived in for almost 25 years, having moved there when our youngest son was just 6 weeks old. I remember standing in the yard with my mom, looking at that diamond in the rough (and it was very rough, trust me!) and saying that this would be our final house. It would become The Homestead, and my grandbabies would come here to frolic in the big back yard.
Yet, when you ask me today if I miss my house, I would have to say – No.
As we set off on our adventure (which began as a 1-2 year adventure and is now in its 10th year) I was surprised how easily we both adjusted to less space. Yes, at first we would bump into each other (sometimes intentionally, I confess), but we soon mastered the yin and yang of life in 300 sq. feet. Over the years we’ve settled into our own favorite spaces (mine – here at the computer or stretched out for a nap on the sofa, Gary’s – up in the front at his computer or back in the bedroom reading (and falling asleep!))and I can honestly say that I have rarely felt crowded. As the vacation feeling wore off and we added some little pieces of our “previous life,”
we realized that we did indeed have a house and a h-o-m-e. It was little, but it was definitely a place to call our own.
So when does the “Maybe and Sometimes” come in? Well, probably the hardest time (emotionally) for me NOT to have that big ol’ house in Pennsylvania is this time of year. The Holidays. Oh, how I would love for my kids and grands to go over the river and through the woods to come to My House. How fun would it be to say to the little ones that ‘this is the room where your Daddy slept” as I tucked them into bed. To pull that big turkey out of the oven and tell the dear DIL’s to go and sit down – I’ve got it covered! But then, as the scent of fresh balsam fades into my memory, I remember the cleaning and the laundry and the fact that probably Mommy and Daddy will be doing any tucking in (since it will be a strange bed and everything!). So the Norman Rockwell holiday begins to fade, and I become content once again with being the holiday guest instead of the holiday host. I still like to tell the DIL’s to go and sit down (bossy MIL that I am!), but I try to respect that these are my children’s homes and their traditions, and now is the time for us to be the (helpful, I hope) guests. “To everything there is a season….”
One more reason that I don’t miss the house –
Tomorrow morning I am going to get up bright and early and thoroughly clean the living room, dining room, kitchen, computer room, TV room, bathroom, and bedroom. And be done by 10AM.
And you gotta love that!
(If you’re interested in the previous FAQ’s, I’ve put them together in a category over on the right column. Just so you know!)