Tuesday, March 13th, 2012...10:27 pm

We’ve Been Here Before

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We’ve been here before. Sort of. We were new homeowners then. We were childless then. We had all the time in the world (until Nora decided a few weeks early that we really, actually, didn’t have all the time we needed, but that’s another story). We bought a house that we couldn’t live in. A house with no working bathrooms, with obvious rot and smell and paint colors obviously chosen by someone who had no intention of taking care of a home. We bought it and we set out on our first remodeling adventure.

It looked like this:

And this:

But something made us go back after seeing it for the first time. Something called us to bid on it and buy it and work and work to make it ours. Starting with a bathroom so that we could move in, moving to the kitchen so we could eat something we cooked, and then to the living room and the bedrooms and the nursery and the yard. We spent five years there; we had one child and learned of the next there; we loved that house. It was ours. It was us.

And eventually it looked like this:

And this:

And this:

When I think of my home, what I want it to feel like and look like and be like. When I think of the materials to use, the textures and colors and sizes, this is the image in my head. Our first house. The place where we became a family.

We moved because we needed space. We moved only about two miles away, but the houses are of a different era, a different style. Ken has a new image in his head. He knows what the new plans should be, the new textures and materials, the new vision of home. And he’s trying to help me see it too. He draws and draws – putting his vision on paper so I can see it too.

We’ve spent the last two days shopping and looking around for flooring, windows, doors. For all the items we need to transform this 50s carpeted mess into Ken’s vision.

So far, the only store where I’ve felt excited was the one where we looked at the same marmoleum we used on our blue and white kitchen floor in the old house. The new tiles left me feeling cold. I don’t really care about windows except to welcome their light and hope the screens won’t block the view of our magic tree.

Maybe it’s first house nostalgia – I’ve been told that there’s nothing like your first house. Maybe it’s just that there’s so much more to think about now that it’s not just me and Ken embarking on this whole adventure. Maybe it’s just that I trust Ken to wave his magical wand, work his magical tools, and transform this house just like he did the last.

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