Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ssshh...Can you hear them?

That's the question I asked my husband last night while we were out house hunting. Our realtor took us to see this listing in the country.

We pulled up in the driveway, took one look, and my husband was immediately against the idea. "Lot's too small. Too close to the road. No covered parking for our vehicles. Looks like the backyard is incredibly tiny..."

I, on the other hand, just as immediately fell head-over-heels in love. The house was relatively small, built in the 1940's, and completely remodeled, as the paperwork informed. In other words, charming. Fresh yellow paint, white gingerbread, scalloped trim.

This was it. I'd found it. My little cottage in the woods!

I was hooked. "I want to go in."

"Baby, its pointless, we don't want this one. It doesn't meet our needs. Where would our dog go?"

"I want to go in."

"But baby, why would -"


Our realtor quickly made an "appointment" from her cell phone (the house was vacant, but its a legal thing they have to call in, regardless) and we hiked up the freshly painted white front steps onto the porch.

"Doesn't this porch just practically demand wicker furniture?" I beamed.

"Uh...huh." Hubby wisely just nodded.

The realtor finally got her key to work and we stepped inside...into a small slice of history. The original wood floors had been restored, and shone in the dusky light still streaming through the wide framed, white shuttered windows.

"SShh...Can you hear them?"

"Hear WHAT?"

"The stories..."

Dozens of them. They hung in the air, whispered through the warm air filtering through the open front door. They hovered in the shadows, floated with the dust particles stirred by the surprise late-evening guests. Pieces of history, secrets just begging to be told.

I closed my eyes, breathed in the possibilties, feeling like a welcome friend starting a new adventure. I could see myself there, see myself penning possibilities on lilac scented paper, creating poetry that would touch the hearts of the entire nation, inspiring the next Great American Classic...

"Uh, baby I don't think you would have passed that pysch test I took today for the fire department. One of the questions was 'do you hear voices'?"

I opened my eyes, and to my credit, didn't punch my husband in the face. =)

But the reality of my dreams lived on. I left him and the realtor by the front door, and walked reverently through the rest of the house, fingers trailing against the narrow hallway as I inspected each room, ooohed over the window seat that stretched the width of the second bedroom, knowing that would be my office if I lived in a perfect world, ahhed over the vintage cabinetry and cubby holes and windowsills, smiled at the old fashioned, claw foot tub in the bathroom...

This house that stole my heart was a perfect contradiction. Old and new. History and Future. It was a dream come true - and it was horrible. Everything I've always wanted, and at the same time, completely impractical. The hallway was narrow, we'd be forever bumping into things and each other. The insulation poor, the wiring...creative. The backyard was postage stamp size, and our black lab is, well, not.

Hubby found me staring out the back window and gave me a hug. "If it was on five acres, baby, I'd buy it for you right now." And he would. I knew that. I hugged him back. "Not your fault."

With emotion clogging the back of my throat, tear pricked eyes and a heavy heart, I finally returned to the car, where I buckled in and cast one more desperate look at my Dream House. It actually hurt when we drove away. Silly, I know, to become so attached to a material object like that, especially one I spent all of ten minutes inside. It didn't make any sense.

But it was more than that, more than just a material object. That house was a dream. A feeling. It represented who I am on the inside. If I could carve out my emotions, strip myself down to the barest of my true personality, than that house would be my pure reflection. It was PERSONAL.

So that house wasn't a house, but an adventure I wanted to take, a life I wanted to live. Totally not realistic, yet...maybe that's why it felt so right. That house was a forever-moment. You know, those moments in time that somehow reach out and grab a hold of your heart, and refuse to let go? Mere, simple moments, suspended forever in memory, never to be forgotten.

On an early summer evening, I got to experience one of those forever-moments, and I am blessed. =)

1 comment:

Erica Vetsch said...

I loved this post. I could see the house in my mind. Linking with the's like a postscript to yesterday...another little story the house has to tell...the girl who loved me but couldn't stay.