July 14, 2007
I've had house lust for years now. My friend, Jo, is on her 2nd (with pool). I've yet to have my first. I've been in married student housing with its industrial carpeting, lack of dishwasher, and absent yard since I got married. I've tried to suppress this unhealthy desire for years. I think this summer has cured me.
Now a disclaimer first. I am incredibly grateful for Pammy's generosity, letting us stay in her beautiful home. We are enjoying the beautiful backyard, the spacious interior. The washing machine (dreamy). The Dishwasher (delightful). The new clothesline (energy saving and fun).
Not a complaint, but I miss my 750 square feet apartment with backyard mowed on Wednesday by friendly gardeners who threw my kids toys on the back porch. I miss calling the office "I need my tub re-caulked, my light bulb changed, the battery in the smoke detector is going out, and there's ants in the house. Can you take care of that?" And then they do. And if my kids make a mess, really, there's only 750 square feet to clean. And that's if it's been strewn across the whole house.
I've always wanted the house, the garage, the yard, the storage really. I'm realizing the upkeep, the cleaning, the yardwork, the pest control might keep me renting forever.
We had one of Jesse's professors over for dinner the other day. He and his wife have lived in Berekely, New Zealand, Hawaii, and now Dubai. Their longest stint was 6 years in Hawaii. What if we did that? What if we moved all over the world, taught at a variety of universities, raised our kids in a multi-cultural environment? We're on our way as it is. Miriam is on her second passport.
I don't mind making repairs and doing yard work, but I'm busy with my little kids. I really don't like cleaning, especially since I'm cleaning the same thing over an over interspersed with vomit, poop, and other nasties. And when the kids get older, I don't really want to take up ironing. I was planning on working while they were in school.
There's always community gardens, storage sheds, and lots of apartments have their own dish washer and washing machine. Perhaps the Zen existence is for us. Perhaps we'd be better off with fewer things, less space, and more experiences.