A wise person once said you should make sure you are running towards something rather than away from something else. While I am absolutely an advocate of running away when it is called for, we are certainly running towards. Our home sweet home is nothing to run from. This peaceful, lovely place is the home where my heart is.
This place perfectly reflects all the things I love but never speak about. Simplicity. Calm. Design. Retreat. Detail. Nestolgia. Craft. Beautiful in the way scratched wood and 50 year old furnishings are. Quirky, real, so real. This house has been warm and cozy, full of great conversations by the fire and fabulous cocktail parties since before I was born. We were not the first people to spray champagne on her ceiling during friend-filled celebrations and I so hope we are not the last. She holds all the best happy secrets in life. And no doubt has comforted many through the worst secrets too. Bright sunny days floating in the breeze on the day bed and days it rains for no reason and every kind of day in between.
So why go?
A question I have asked myself a thousand times lately. I love this place. I bought her on nothing more than a comforting feeling at sunset on a warm day after a chaotic week (/year, /years). She looked nothing like rest at the time, with her horrible wallpaper and wornout (original?) carpeting, but still had that relaxed air about her.
Years went by and these visions were likely starting to seem like delusions to those who stopped by regularly without seeing the piece-by-piece transformation unfold. I spent a good 18 months just getting the ugly out. (Sometimes that part takes longer than anyone of us cares to admit). All before having the margin to decide what to put back in.
Mid 2013 I awoke from the haze and peace of stillness, ready to shake things up. New direction, new motivation but being honest, I was SO in over my head. Enter a breath of fresh air…. At first I was cautious who I let into this near sacred quiet place. Thinking no one could possibly see what I could behind the wood paneling, cedar shake and avacado plumbing fixtures. Who could possible love something that required so. much. work. (Still talking about the house here, folks! ;)) Joking aside this was not going to be an easy, or short ride, but he swore he loved projects his first week in the house and I wanted so badly to believe him.
This was not the weekend-warrior type of job. But his insistence persisted and my caution grew thin. The day he asked me to marry him by the fireplace after cooking an amazing dinner in the tiny old galley kitchen, I couldn’t believe I ever worried at all.
The last year we spent slaving away together at demo and drywall and flooring, wondering why anyone would ever subject themselves to this “just because.” A sudden job change meant we no longer we’re building her just for ourselves, but trying to breath life into a place that would live beyond us. This was now not just about our comfort but a rescue mission and if we are honest with ourselves, a sort of shrine to the good life we have built in our first years together.
I have always known that hard work is good for the soul, but now I can see it and it does not disappoint… even if we cannot continue on together. Because the truth is: there is a lot of world out there to see, a lot of midcentury modern homes that need saving, and a lot to learn about yourself in the process. When it comes down to it, you don’t find happiness, you build it.
….And then sometimes you build it again.