Jan 28, 2014

The Closer You Are


May 15, 2010.  That's the date this photo was taken. Why am I standing in a beautiful meadow, posing for pictures with my daughter? Because I'm actually standing on 1.25 acres of property we had just purchased in a huge master-planned housing development. I was imagining where our new house would sit. I was dreaming of the home where our family, which had ballooned to six people, would live and grow for the foreseeable future. Exciting times those were. Out in that empty lot.

Eventually that empty lot would be excavated to hold the foundation of the house that Julie and I spent months designing as we scrutinized every little detail, making sure it would be perfect for us. And on that foundation a building would be erected over the course of a year while the six of us lived in a bedroom over the garage of Julie's parents' house. And with the help of our friends and family, we finally moved (almost) all of our earthly possessions into that brand new house and got to the task of settling in and making that marvelous new house our home.

And now... we're moving out.  And on.

Shortly after committing to building that perfect home, our family business started getting pulled into the muck of the financial crisis and economic depression. Our timing was horrible. Luckily we were conservative enough in our finances up to that point that we were able to weather the storm for awhile. Throw in some unbelievably high property taxes (like as high as a second mortgage) and it eventually became too much. We loved our house, but there was no joy in dedicating so much of our shrunken income to our living expenses. So almost exactly two years after moving into the house that took so much planning and patience to obtain, we put it on the market. Downsizing was the only option.

Which leads us to now, almost exactly one year after we listed our house for sale. We're in the final weeks of preparing to hand this house over to another family and move into the next house that we'll call home.

We really did painstakingly design every square inch of this house with us and our children in mind. It really is "our" house. In some ways it feels like we've barely lived here, but in other ways it's hard to imagine anything but this house being our home. Despite all that, though it may be surprising to some, leaving this house isn't that big of a deal. It's just a house. A thing. It sheltered us, but it's just brick and stone and wood and cement. The same stuff of which our next house is made.  I care far more about the lives lived inside the house than the house itself.

Plus this gives me all the more reason to dive into my favorite show on television, This Old House. I can't wait to give Julie my list of projects I want to tackle...

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