Giving Thanks for Our New Home
There are many things I am thankful for. But today I wanted to write this post about one thing.
The other day my mother asked me if I was happy with our new home. She said the house wasn’t really the type of house she pictured me buying.
I have to admit – she is right.
When I drive around, the types of houses I find myself admiring are old farmhouses. Huge, two story structures with angled roofs, slapped on additions and front covered porches wide and long enough for at least 10 people to have a good porch-sit (that’s a word from my Alabama days). The houses are nearly always wood or were wood and have been vinyl-covered and they probably have 2 staircases – the formal one and the one everyone uses. They are houses like the one I grew up in.
Our new house is nothing like that. From the outside it is a long, low, one-story ranch. The house is very symmetrical and is made of brick and stone. It looks rather unremarkable from the street.
But I love this house.
First, it has qualities on the inside that remind me of the houses I typically admire. It has a little entrance foyer complete with coat closet (this is the first house we have owned that has had a handy coat closet). It has a beautiful large living room and sunroom. The kitchen is galley style and small, but it is well laid out and very functional.
The bedrooms are down a wing of the house and there is a door that can be shut to close that end off from the rest. So even though the bedrooms are on the first floor, you can pretend they are upstairs. This comes in handy when you are house-breaking a puppy or want to discreetly block out the “mommy just one more” cries at bedtime. There are 2 fireplaces on the first floor – one in the living room and one in our bedroom (love, love, love).
Second, even though it is a ranch, there is a lower, walk-out floor that is completely finished. It has built-in cabinets and tons of windows. There is a third stone fireplace down there. We are currently using half of the space as a bedroom for Numbers 1 and 2, and the other half as a play area, but we have other plans for the future.
Third, there is a “walk-up attic”. At least that is what the description on the real estate site said. Let me tell you – it is not a walk-up attic. It is an entire third floor, complete with a couple of windows, just waiting to be finished. In my eyes as a mother with 5 kids, it is a place to grow in to.
In addition to the space, there are quirky things that I love. The house was built in 1952, apparently as a summer home for a well-to-do family from Springfield, MA (this is what I have been told). There is a built-in china closet in the dining room (love this!) that also has several 2 inch high drawers for storing silver. Now, I don’t have silver to store, but I love those drawers! Downstairs there is a Harry Potter closet under the stairs that the kids love to play hide and seek in.
Outside there are 4 very old, very large sugar maple trees. We can’t wait to try making maple syrup next spring! Around the back is a set of old stone stairs. Several people have warned me about them – about how dangerous they are – uneven and slippery. But I will never change them. In between the steps grow hundreds of chicken and hens and one of my favorite all time flowers, black-eyed Susans, are planted right next to them.
Add to that a pasture, barn, woods and brook and you might understand why I never feel like going out anymore.
So, yes, I guess you could say I love our new house. I am very grateful to be here. And the benefit of it being one-level? We can stay here even when we are too old to climb stairs!