Joe and Ruby moved into their home in 1953.
I don't know what the neighborhood was like then or who they were when they bought the house. I don't know if they planned on being here forever or if the purchase was only meant for a certain time in their lives. But they moved in and they made a life and they stayed.
Joe and Ruby are gardeners.
They love to grow things for themselves and they're so attune to the hobby that they are constantly harvesting. Even in the winter they are bringing over their spoils. The front of their red brick bungalow is smothered in thick, woody grapevine that yields grapes every year--deeply purple and sweet--and I consider this a feat because, who can grow grapes in Colorado?
Joe and Ruby raised four children in their home.
I think of that whenever I find myself cursing the hallway closet by our bathroom forced to serve as coat closet, linen closet, and medicine cabinet. And I think of that when we deliver Christmas cookies to all the neighbors and you can't help but peek into their house. And you can see the 50+ years of stuff, yet somehow those walls managed to accommodate all of it, plus six people.
The point of all this is, 60 years ago, a couple bought a house. They made it theirs. It shows off their hobbies and decades of life. Their kids always knew that place as home, and when they come back "home" that's exactly what it is. And probably at one point they thought of looking for more space, or maybe they didn't. But they were obviously content enough with what they had to stay and to take pride in it.
I remember walking into the house that is now ours for the first time. Oh, we had already seen an ungodly amount of houses, houses that we just not suited for us for one reason or another. Then I walked up the path to this cozy house, rose bushes blooming in the front, and then through the front door. I just knew.
I love our house so terribly much. I love the squeaks in the floor by the kitchen even though they are loud in the middle of the night. I love the archways and how they make appearances in each room. I love the light that streams through our old-fashioned latch windows and the big porcelain farm sink in the kitchen. I love the work we put into the basement and our bedroom and the nursery, the plans we have for the bathroom and the back yard.
It's probably not realistic to think we'll be here forever. I get that. Our room is about ten feet from the room the girls share. But I'm not in a hurry to leave this place. I'm not in a hurry to leave behind all of our hard work and dreams poured into it, the memories and stories built up in it. And maybe I didn't picture it when we signed the papers making it ours, but I sort of love the giant toys strewn about the back patio and how the guest room never was because it became a nursery first.
I love that this isn't a house. It's a home. That's what I wanted to find and buy and make. And this all feels very adult to me because, for the first time in life really, things are slowing down in such a way that I'm not constantly working toward something and all plans aren't based on how they effect future plans. We just simply are and can enjoy that. And if, in the future, it changes, then fine--or great even, if we're fulfilling a dream.
For now we have a place to be, without fear or worry of what comes next. A place to serve the same for our girls, where they are safe and warm and can run and learn and play. And we can keep working hard and keep making memories, and all of that will be safe and stored here too. In our home, sweet home.