These Four Walls

2:11 PM

Life is full of style.  Everywhere, there is a pattern, a color, a lack of color, a shape, a smell, an angle, that evokes joy or disdain in you.  The things you surround yourself with affect your mood, your productivity, and your outlook.

As I prepare to move from the North back to the South, I have been flooded with emotions, divine and deafening.  Memories from childhood through the present have invaded my dreams with relentless assaults on my subconscious.  Who I was, and who I am are in direct confrontation about who I will be.  I look around my home as we prepare to bid adieu and I need to digest the years here that have nourished my character and prepared me for the next home.

I'm just fascinated by houses. In another life, I'd have probably trained as an architect. If I had enough money, I'd collect them like other people collect teapots. I don't know why I love them so much. I'm just very interested in the idea of a house as a metaphor for the way one lives.
-Frances Mayes, author
When we bought our original "fixer upper" she was a foreclosure, abandoned, and neglected.  But Ryan and I saw potential, a challenge, and a beautiful location.  Over the next two and half years, we (along with wonderful family) created a landscaped yard, took the kitchen to the sub flooring and started over, painted the walls, and replaced the banister, flooring, appliances, hardware, fixtures, and more.  We made it ours.

Beau Meyer Photography

And then we spent those 6 months in the hospital, and brought home beautiful baby girls, and didn't get much more done.  It was the house's turn to fix us up, keep us warm, provide a place to sleep (yeah right), and grow stronger as a family. 

This was the season I changed the wall hangings 900 times.  When I would ask Ryan if he liked something, he'd say, "It doesn't matter, you'll change it next week."  He was so right, as usual.  I have a yearning to style things, to be creative, to welcome the change of seasons (a little less winter, mmkay?), and evolve.


There are precise moments I can point to in my history with this house that have broken, and rebuilt parts of my character.  The first, often difficult, year of marriage, where I cried in the closet, with friends over, and those friends helped us confront the things that bothered us, built us up stronger as individuals and as a couple, and still serve as an example for me of marriage today.  The even more direct connection to the house when I would find a new problem to fix, and scream.  My patient husband reminding me that this house has kept us warm this long, it does its job.  Nothing goes without maintenance, not home, not soul, not marriage.

May the next family be as blessed as we have been in this house.
May they make it their home, with their style.
What are four walls, anyway?  They are what they contain.  The house protects the dreamer. - Under the Tuscan Sun (the film)

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