The story of a house

I’ve been meaning to write the story of our house for over two years.  Now that we’re finally leaving, I feel like its now or never. 

The first thing I thought of when I found out we were moving was, Man, I’m going to miss this house.  I apologize to all the friends and family we’ve known out here, but really, the house was the first thing that came to mind.  This little house in these foothills overlooking the city has become our home over these last two years. And it was such an emotional decision to choose to live here that I’m sure will matter to no one but me, but I want to write it down here anyway.

When we came to California looking for a place to live, we were still living in Mexico City.  Cramped, busy, noisy, dirty (well, the part we lived in), Mexico City.  Moving to cramped, busy, traffic-y, tons of people EVERYWHERE (but beautiful geography!) California.  My heart was yearning for big empty spaces and nature and trees and it seemed impossible for us to find it and still have a commute that wouldn’t drive my husband crazy.

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A horse in our yard! And yes, I look like a tourist in my own front yard.

All our friends pointed us to the area that a young couple should want to live, near the restaurants, nightlife, and within walking distance to all types of shops.  Who wouldn’t want to live there!  We looked at apartment after apartment and didn’t even consider entering the single family home scene, until one random realtor just wanted to show us something really quick.  It had just come on the market and she could tell that we weren’t sold on anything else she was showing us.  A little duplex waaayy up the hill.

It was love at first sight for me!  So silly, to feel so attracted to a cute house.  The features of a 100 year old house, like the doorknobs, curved ceilings, and original windows.  The updated funky Spanish tiled kitchen, the original hardwood floors, the beautiful backyard!  To be shared with 2 other tenants on the property, but still!  A beautiful backyard, with fruit trees!  It was just out of our price range but not too far off from what we would pay for an apartment in the “cool” area.

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Part of our kitchen

It was our last day to look at places, yet we left the house confused, unable to make a decision.  Its seems like such a silly choice.  If you like the house, go for it!  We had the experience of Mexico just wanting to make us abscond to the hills and live by ourselves, but this was even more than just that.

The house had begun to represent something more than just a place to live and call home, it became the embodiment a life I couldn’t have.  I saw that extra bedroom and that yard that would be perfect for a family with a child, not for a childless couple.  This was a house for a family, not for a pair of young adults that should be wanting to go out at night!  But we were in this place in life not to our own choosing.  So why couldn’t we have that?  We wanted so badly to have a simple home life, but everyone kept telling us we should go out and enjoy our childlessness!  Live it up, since we could! But that wasn’t what we wanted.  Was this house and this lifestyle going to be withheld from us too, because we couldn’t have kids?  Or if we chose to live there, would it mock us with its space and empty rooms, a sign of a life we could never have?

Its hard to write out how and relay the feeling that I had, but I remember crying over this.  Another example of how sub/infertility sneaks its way in there and affects seemingly unrelated decisions.

We were never able to just make a decision on where to live.  We literally narrowed it down to an apartment and this house.  But we just couldn’t choose.  I was too scared.  And so we flipped a coin.  I just wanted to say, “I WANT THE HOUSE.  I want that dream.  I can’t have a child but I can go on and live in the house!  They aren’t the same.” But I was scared.  The two felt too intertwined.

I didn’t even know I had been holding my breath, but the coin decided and I was so happy not to have the burden of feeling like I was “forcing” it, but getting to live in such a beautiful space.  And fortunately, the landlord agreed to lower the rent, making it financially equivalent to the apartments we were considering.

This place became our home.

Our little escape from LA that we didn’t know existed here.  A place where I got my first job post graduation. A place where I took this picture.  And where we literally welcomed our son 9 months later.  Where I decided to stay home and care for our son.  Where I made countless things from our yard.  Where we taught almost all our NFP classes and had friends over for dinner.  Where we had a nursery after all and where that babe has learned to walk.  So many things that I couldn’t have known would happen 2 years ago.  This place that holds all the memories from such a unique time in my life.

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First picture on the day we moved in. Welcoming you to our house :)

But it remains just a house on street, that belongs to someone else.  Just a place that held our memories, not created them or thwarted them from happening, as I may have first thought.  Who would have thought this place would have meant so much to me!

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6 thoughts on “The story of a house

  1. I’m glad you wrote this out. It’s fun to remember what it was like when I was younger. I haven’t ever been all that emotional about either of the houses we have lived in the psat 13 years. But the apartment we had when we were first married is still one of my favorite places. It’s weird how some things grow on you differently.

  2. Awww…so beautiful! Love the story. And now think about how things have changed just 2 years later as you again look for a place to live, but this time as a family of 3!

  3. What a great story! I love the “the place that held our memories, not created or thwarted them.” I’m glad you were able to choose that house and that it was home for you for these last couple of years!

  4. What a great house! And I am so happy that the 2 years that followed had so much joy. :) I believe our longing for a certain kind of earthly home is tied to our longing for our true home with God… that our ability to “make a home” here is a way of connecting with heaven, even if it will always fall a little short. So it makes sense to me why so many of our dreams and desires are so tied up in where to live! I feel the same about certain places I’ve lived too… the tiny apartment in the historic district of the city, our first apartment as a married couple… and our first home as a married couple which we also bought without knowing we’d soon be pregnant. I remember those fears of having the “extra bedroom” all too well!

  5. I love this! I’m also sentimental about things, places & memories – like what this house has been to you.

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