Moved, yet unmoved
Reality check from underneath the boxes
I am a sucker for HGTV home renovation shows. I have a good eye but lack the building and organizational skills that might offer me a career flipping houses, curating properties, or restoring old homes to their previous glory. The idea of flipping houses doesn’t appeal to me much because the process becomes more about the money than the home. Curating properties or selling real estate requires far too much “peopleing” for this introvert. But, oh, the notion of finding a place lost and abandoned begging for a second chance at becoming home leaves me feeling warm and mushy.
As a child, I would see empty farmhouses and decrepit barns and try to imagine who lived there. Was the house built by a young man full of dreams for his future bride? Did they sit on the porch and watch their children and grandchildren play? Did they suffer through the Great Depression or lose a child to an illness easily cured by modern medicine? Were their lives touched by war? Did they celebrate birthdays and anniversaries with their neighbors on the next farm over? Did they find refuge in church on Sundays? Was this building, their home, a sanctuary?
My romantic mind can envision how old homes may have looked in their prime, but I also have modern ideas about how spaces can be used to facilitate conversations and rest. Is it any wonder I love these shows?
I watched one such show yesterday, where a couple wanted to retire to a quaint cottage in Mississippi. They specifically wanted to restore an old home and fill it with new love. Sweet. They chose a two-bedroom, one-bath with a cramped kitchen and funky plastic shingles on the gables. The crew went to work. First, down come walls, making the kitchen a useful size with floor-to-ceiling cabinets. A tiny alcove was transformed into an itty-bitty craft room. And — the big change — the second bedroom became a luxurious bathroom. The couple was delighted. And then I realized they were downsizing from a FIVE-BEDROOM home. Into a charming one-bed/one-bath cottage.
We are in the process of downsizing from a home with space for three children, a series of greyhounds, and nearly 19 years of everything real life offers. Swim team, marching band…