Saturday, October 27, 2007

Loving My House

Something funny has come over me in the last 24 hours. I want to LOVE my house... passionately! The problem is, I never have. House hunting this last go-around (12 years ago and this is our third home purchase in 21 years of marriage) was crazy. I had four days to find my "dream house," during which time I was quite pregnant with our second son and overwhelmed by the prices of houses in southern California, let alone the lack of property one gets for those many, many dollars. We settled on Irvine mainly because the schools are known for excellence (this one has come back to bite me numerous times as my kids sit for hours on end doing homework and projects nearly every day of their lives!!!) and really, because I had no job lined up as of yet and we simply could not afford something on the beach. But I never loved the house. It was a cross-off, nothing more, on the way to moving and having a nest for everyone, especially a new baby.

Over the years I have tried to improve the house and make it more "me." Our previous two homes were old and historic, one a 1920s Bungalow and the other a 1950s Colonial. They both had a very cottage-y feel and reeked of charm. But this Irvine house was different. 1979 architecture, looking remarkably similar to three others on our cul-de-sac. Nothing beautiful moldings, dark wood floors or interesting built-ins. I LOVE old houses. The funny thing is, this house IS old....for Irvine. But by my standards, it's a baby.

We had a new roof put on it first. We were the first on the block, actually, to do so but the Santa Ana winds had blown off too many wood shingles so actually we HAD to. Then, I bit the bullet and had hardwood floors installed in the kitchen, living room, dining room and front hall. Later we made other interesting renovations. Each improvement has helped me like the house more. But still.........sigh.

In the last day I have found myself wanting.....really wishing to love my house. The SoCal fires have left so many people devastated, without homes. My heart breaks for them and I realize my own selfishness. I am blessed to call this house my home on earth.

So today I worked on the front entry after cleaning the inside. The sky was still too smoky for a bike ride and my knee was not happy anyway so I skipped the gym, deciding to put my energy into the house. When I finally made it outside I was disgusted by the dirty, dark ash all over the place, leaves everywhere from the winds, and a few dead plants. However, I gathered myself up and 90 minutes later got the front looking better. And I just FELT better. Who knows? It might be love after all.

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