When does a new house become this old house?

We’ve owned our house for a little over two weeks and lived in it for almost one week and already I feel like I’ve got a punch list longer than Santa’s naughty Wall Street bankers list. And I don’t know if I should celebrate or curse, but most of it is niggling little items, like a drywall patch required to set the screws to mount our telephone. Or figuring out why the motion detector light on the front of the garage either never turns on or stays on all night. Or counting how many doors there are, because all of them need doorstops.

I celebrate that they are each small items. Then I curse when I do each task.

And I still marvel in the house itself…the fact that there are so many doors means that many rooms, which means that much space, which means that everyone is a little more relaxed. It’s amazing what a difference you feel when everyone isn’t sitting in each other’s lap…or when you don’t have four people in a 40-square-foot bathroom.

I visited that former bathroom of ours yesterday…along with the rest of the condo. My dermatologist had just left a smoking hole in my arm where a mole used to be, and since his office is across the street from our old place, I swung by to pick up a few last items.

I walked through the place and so many memories…that sense of accomplishment we felt when we bought it, cooking in the living room while we had the kitchen gutted and replaced, and bringing home both of our beautiful children. It’s the house where Mama and I became a family larger than the two of us. It was our first home, and now it’s our old house.

But, in a matter of weeks–because we have the best realtor in the world–it will be someone else’s new house, their first step, or maybe next step. When the light of a spring sunset gives a golden glow to the entire place, or when they sit down for their first meal on the floor amid their still-packed boxes, or when they bring their first child home…it will become their home too, as it was ours.

So it is that I am reminded of the need to let go, to free the house to not only be inhabited by someone else, but also to become theirs, to become an extension of themselves, a larger shell for their body to inhabit, decorate and take comfort in…but not until we complete the punch list we have for the old house.

  • Lainey-Paney

    Better to reference This Old House than The Money Pit (tell me you’ve seen that movie!)….