My Imperfect Home
This June will mark 20 years since I moved into my home. (September will mark 20 years for my husband. As an engaged couple at the time it was easier for me to move first; as I already lived in town, next door in fact and then we slowly moved his things over the following months so that by the time the moving men were schedule there really wasn't all that much to move. Just the heavy pieces like a piano.) Way back then, I came up with the 20 year plan; a list of things I wanted to accomplish to "improve" upon the house that had been in my family since 1924.
I don't know if that list is still around. I remember there were a dozen or so things on it. And I'm pretty sure that only one of those things actually got accomplished. (Replacing the kitchen floor; and that was only accomplished because I asked for funds to do it for my birthday one year.) I don't remember much of what was on the list. The only one I do remember was getting a pull down ladder for the attic. I don't know if that would even work as the "hatch" for the ladder is pretty much located over a drop for the stairs to the first floor. This is one of the reasons why we don’t use the attic for storage. If you can't get up there, how can you store things? Plus, there really isn't any space to stand and that planks that line the space aren't all that wonderful.
Other plans probably included repairing and repainting the bathroom (We only have one.) We did try the repainting; it didn't work out too well (we may have made it worse!). The repairing...that still hasn't happened despite the tiles that have fallen off the walls, the cracks in the calking, the wallpaper that's peeling and the myriad of other things that are wrong. There were all the rooms that needed re-plastering/repainting/re-papering. At one point I dreamed of a finished basement and a deck in the back. I fantasized about adding another bathroom and of expanding the house. (There is plenty of room to grow in the back yard.)
I had lots of dreams, but life had a way of interrupting them. I thought I'd be part of a two income family; it didn't turn out that way. I thought that my family would be part of the middle class; I don't think that exists any more. I never expected life would turn out to be quite such a financial struggle.
Our home is not perfect. But then neither is the family that lives inside of it... There are a lot of things that need to be fixed. (There are probably people who would say the same thing about my family!) Along with the cosmetic flaws there are also dust bunnies and loose Lego pieces. There are beds that are half made. There might be dishes in the sink.
Again, I never thought "my house" would be this way. Did I think it would clean itself? (The answer might be a sheepish maybe.) Maybe I just thought it would be easier or faster to clean. Or maybe I assumed that we would have the financial resources to have someone clean it for me.
I am not a total slob; my imperfect home is not falling down around me and although there is clutter; there is not hoarding. (Although if you looked in my den/sun parlor/music room you might disagree with me.) My family works together to keep things somewhat clean and organized. When things start to get out of control; I jump into "clean" mode. And with some prodding (maybe some yelling and tears) my family joins in to help. And we turn our mess back into our little house.
I am not complaining here. (Although I suppose I could very easily to do.) Life is what is it and as much as I might like to complain about circumstances as they are, I am blessed with what I do have. And what I do have is a house, even with all its faults (and I won't deny those faults) that keeps my family warm and dry. It is a house with many imperfections, but it is our home. It's full of memories...as my grandparents bought this house back in 1924 it has A LOT of memories. (There are times when I open the storm door and get this "smell" from the wooden front door that immediately reminds me of my grandparents.)
So if you happen to stop by my house; please do not judge me by my housekeeping (or lack therefor) or by the physical imperfections that you will quite plainly see. For all that it is (or is not), this is my family home. Like me, it is imperfect. And it also is, and always will be, loved.