This prompt comes to you from Writing Your Life team member, Jess Burbank.
I am in the chaotic, uncertain, thrilling, and exhausting process of moving. A few months ago, my husband’s company was acquired and we were asked if we would be willing to move to Seattle from the current home we are renting in the San Francisco Bay area. Since that decision to move, my husband has started work at the new company and we have a new home, the first home we have ever purchased for our family of four.
The home-buying process is difficult, but it is also fun, and had us thinking hard about what we’ve liked and disliked about the previous places we’ve called home. No place has been perfect, but each one has had some great or memorable quality.
It was fun to dream about fireplaces, jetted bathtubs, easier commutes, walkable neighborhoods, and all the other amenities you may add to the wish list, no matter how unrealistic.
I also enjoyed imagining all the possible lifestyle changes various homes might afford. I’ve always romanticized rural life. Maybe it was time to garden and own goats and pigs in a big house out in the country, I’d think. Who was I fooling? I have a hard enough time getting the lawn mowed and the dog walked.
Perhaps, I thought, we should be right in the city in one of those modern, boxy houses with the great views of Mt. Rainier and the Space Needle from our new rooftop deck. Then, I’d imagine one of my children falling over the side of the rooftop deck and thought better of it.
No, in the end, it was more like our house chose us than we chose it. It was the house that was available right when we needed it, and it was the house that we could afford. It didn’t have the gas range or the guest suite, the bathroom is a little outdated and the kitchen a bit smaller than I’d envisioned, but our new house is a practical, comfortable, one-story on a cul-de-sac, a short drive to my husband’s office, and within walking distance of a park—the perfect place for us to start a new chapter and raise our kids.
I can’t wait to start making memories there. Aren’t the sensory details of past homes some of your most vibrant memories? Home provides the setting to so many of our life stories.
What about you? What special home looms large in your memories?
Was it your childhood home with its ghost-filled closets and toy-stuffed bedrooms? Was it the first home you and your spouse ever chose together with all its possibilities and compromises? Was it a hard-earned home you proudly perfected over time?
What sights, sounds, smells, and tastes do you remember from that home?
Tell me about one of the places you’ve called home and how that home impacted who you are today, or tell me about the dream home you hope to own someday and how that home would change how you live your life.