I spend much of my working life wandering, metaphorically, through other people’s houses. I admire their efficiency, their clever, compact designs, their locations, and the art on their walls, and I frequently feel covetous. But when I’m finished writing or editing a piece, I am typically able to take the ideas I’ve gathered for “someday” and show myself out without too much wistfulness.
That was until a house a quarter mile from ours that I’ve lusted after for years went on the market. We are not looking to relocate. (What kind of fools would spend eight years saving for, and a year planning/executing, the kitchen they intend to use into retirement, and then peace out?) And yet, looking at the photos of this place online the other weekend, I pretty much had us moving in. Here was an opportunity for Mark and me to have a master suite (meaning no more jostling with two kids in a tiny bathroom and, in my case, no more closet-sharing with a 5-year-old) and for me to have an actual office (versus a desk in the dining room) in a beautifully renovated 200-year-old home. And we could have all this while remaining in the community we love.
Realizing that I was serious about the place, Mark pulled up his “property calculator” spreadsheet — Google Sheets are his therapy — and ran the numbers while I ordered everybody to get ready to walk over to the open house. Once there, I fixated on the generous space and light, the elegant woodwork and the stained-glass windows, while Mark zeroed in some less-than-ideal aspects I was initially willing to ignore. As we stepped out onto the property’s charming front porch, however, I felt the fantasy beginning to recede. Back at home, Mark said, “the thing is, I just really like our house.” So do I — I guess I just needed to actually wander around in someone else’s to be reminded of that.
Are you content where you are or always looking? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Cover Photo: This is not my house (I wish!) or the house I was looking at. It is, however, a gorgeous Maine sunrise shot by the one and only Ben Williamson.