Thursday, March 15, 2012

In Search of the Perfect House

It doesn't exist, this perfect house I've built in my mind. 

Rick and I have been house hunting now for months. We need to choose one and be done with the search. The only other house I've ever owned was in Windsor, Colorado. I knew it was the house I wanted to raise my kids in the second I set foot in it. There was never any question; 900 Juniper Drive was home.

Finding the house we want is proving more difficult this time around. For one thing, Rick and I come from vastly different backgrounds. In all honesty, I could live in a primitive log cabin and be perfectly happy. Do I love the jacuzzi?Absolutely. Do I like living on the water? More than I can say. Is having an elevator in my home a necessity? Ummm, no. It moves at the speed of smell, as Max would say.

But my relationship with luxury is relatively young, and at 47, I know this about myself: I prefer the simplicity that comes with not having much in the way of material things. I would like to have room for a piano. I need a functional, brightly lit home office. And I want--almost more than anything else I could ever think of--a big porch or deck. No one uses a porch more than I do. Seriously...if it has a cover, I will likely live on it. If not, I will likely live on it. That would be me, bundled up in layers, boots and gloves covering my appendages, sitting on the porch swing or rocking chair in the middle of winter. I love the cold. I love the snow. And I love swingin' and rockin'.

We have toured homes of 5000+ square feet, and we will tour one this weekend that is just under 3000 square feet. We have walked through homes in the woods and homes on the water. We have admired the views from expansive backyards and lamented the absence of wood-burning fireplaces. We have appreciated functional floor plans and questioned decorating tastes (What were they thinking, installing pale pink seashell-shaped sinks?). We have toured a home built in 1901, one constructed in 2007, and many that were erected sometime in between. After seeing about eight houses, we can remember aspects of each one we saw and put them together to build the perfect house for our family.

But the reality is this: No one house is going to provide everything we'd like to have, be that desire big or small. We can build on or install those aspects of a house we truly want if necessary. We can knock down walls and add skylights. Rick reminds me that what will make our house special is turning it into a home, and he has faith that I can make that happen in any setting. His confidence makes me smile, because I know that what makes a house a home is the sound of laughter, the squabbling of siblings, and the knowledge that within those walls, we are all beloved.

Yeah, I can do that.