Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Its the small things




This year, my home turns 90 years old. In respect to it's age, my husband and I decided to treat it to a manner deserving by sprucing things up a bit. Starting at the top, a new roof was in order. Who knows when the last time it's high peak had been walked upon? New gutters and downspouts added a ribbon like effect to the house package. And now it's my turn; I get to paint the trim around the first floor windows! (Obviously, I'm letting those with younger years and really high ladders do the second story!)



So yesterday, I'm fussing around the fireplace windows. As I'm balancing myself on the ladder by holding onto the limestone sill, I start to groom the chimney. I begin meticulously picking ivy roots from between the grout and pull old vines from around the brick. From my elevated view, I remember how many times my husband and I had driven around looking for houses with this tell tale sign of a fireplace. We would scout the older areas and like a odd game of I Spy, we would shout out our find of a house that had a brick chimney attached to one side of the house, with the customary set of windows on either side. This was our sign of home. Our goal, our longing, our dream, to have the kind of home that would draw our family and friends together around the peaceful setting of a wood burning fireplace.



Ten years ago next week, we moved into our dream home. The home that I literally would day dream about when I wanted to go to a peaceful place. The entry, revealing a generous living room, showcased by a far wall with fireplace and bookshelves flanking both sides and the obligatory windows above both. The staircase would be on the other end of the room, allowing it to be an auxiliary focal point. These two specific things were actually in my day dream that I had for many years. Imagine my surprise when I walked into this home the first time to see it in person and for sale!



So I meticulously continued to clean the chimney bricks, scrape the beloved windows and apply it's first coat of primer. At one point, I believe I even patted the decorative brick around the base of the chimney in some kind of weird affirmation of affection.



It is important to add, that my husband and I should never have been able to afford this house. We have been a one income family since our first pregnancy in the 70's. My husband did not graduate from college, even though the job he now has, requires it. I barely graduated from high school. Our third child was the first in my family to graduate from college and that was just last year. We have been your typical middle class family all our married life. And yet, we are living in the exact house that we would have parked our car on the street to look at many, many years ago. We would have discussed our best guess at how the house looked inside but never, never would have had the gumption to call a realtor over. But yet our dreams persisted and years later this factory rat and his unemployable wife entered the doors of long sought after dream.



Sigh.

God is good.

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