This house has in fact been a major source of stress and anxiety since the moment we signed the papers. When I think about our first winter there -- when I look at photos of my sweet Happy, just 18 months old opening Christmas gifts on the bare tile floor because we couldn't yet afford an area rug -- I taste the sour fear that we wouldn't be able to maintain the place, let alone pay the mortgage every month. It's ironic that now that we're in a better job situation and not even living in the house, we still face major financial hardship because of this building.
|The annual first-day-of-school pic|
in front of Bachmania
|I spent many hours reading and |
drinking wine on this deck.
Ironically, despite the ill-proportioned rooms, it was too much house for a busy young family. Cleaning inside took hours, and maintaining the yard took entire afternoons in the spring, summer, and fall. Most weekends, by the time the yard work was done, we were too tired to enjoy the yard. And now I'm actually paying someone to do the yard work, which I hate even more because I'm still not enjoying the yard!
Here's the punchline: I miss that poorly laid-out, time-sucking, money-draining house. I miss sitting on the beautiful deck shaded by 60-foot trees in the late afternoon. I miss eating tomatoes from my garden. I miss sending the kids out back to play together on the swing set. I miss working in my little desk in the back corner of the sunroom, watching the family of cardinals in the weeping cherry tree. I miss hearing the high school marching band in the fall; in fact, that was the sound that made us want to buy the house in the first place. I miss each of us having our own space to spread out, Happy drawing in the sunroom, Honey watching football in the family room, Zippy playing by me in the dining room while I cooked on a Sunday afternoon. I miss a fire crackling on Christmas morning or the entire family gathered around the table singing happy birthday. I miss sprawling on the sectional sofa with bowls of popcorn on a Friday night in front of a dumb kids' movie. I miss waking to the hum of the neighbors' lawn mower, or watching the fireflies twinkle in the trees outside our window.
I miss our neighbors, who were always friendly and happy to see us. I miss having a bunch of children for Happy and Zippy to play with whenever they stepped out the front door. I miss walking to the park or library whenever we wanted. I miss the moms at the bus stop each morning and the way my heart would swell when I saw all our kids bound off the bus together in the afternoons. I miss catching up with friends at the swim club on our street or seeing familiar faces in the coffee shop on a Friday morning.
|We could cram a lot of people in |
for birthday parties.
Being responsible for a big empty house 500 miles away from where I live is wearing me down considerably. I have missed out on a lot of sleep worrying about the house and wondering why it's not been purchased yet. I feel every person who walks through and doesn't make an offer hates it, and I do take that personally. But I understand because I, too, hate this house! I would like nothing more than for an asteroid to land on it.
I know, however, that when the day comes that we actually sign it over to a new family, I will weep.