Our new yard is full of beautiful blooms — hydrangeas, calla lilies, butterfly bushes, and Hibiscus. You can tell the previous owners cared about their home. They were thoughtful about things like irises and hydrangeas, and I imagine they looked forward to seeing them bloom every year.
So when I noticed hydrangea blooms bigger than Mary Virginia’s head, my first thought was, “Ah, I’d love to tell the sellers — their hydrangeas are beautiful this year.”
Their hydrangeas. Because they don’t feel like mine. I didn’t plant, water, or prune them. I just got here.
People keep asking if this new house feels like home and the answer is…sort of…but mostly, no. We’ve been here for about a month and we’re still settling in.
It still feels like I’m living in someone else’s house. I’m still flicking the wrong light switches, and we haven’t been able to crack the trash pick-up schedule.
Today David washed his hands in the bathroom and after he announced that he knew where everything was! Even with the light off! The faucet, the soap, the towel, he found it all instinctively. He was so excited as he told me, and I understood him completely. Those are the things you lose when you move — familiarity, routine, and rhythms. We’re finding it, but it takes a while.
We finished unpacking days after we moved, and what’s left is decorating and arranging. Since I have kids, I can get anything done as long as I don’t mind letting them watch 12 straight hours of TV while I style the built-ins in my living room and I do mind. It feels impossible to paint a room or even pick paint colors, and when friends tell me that hanging art will make it feel more like home I think, “Ok, I’ll get around to that one day.”
This maybe sounds contrived, but while hanging art might help, the thing that’s going to make this house feel like home is time. We just need to live here.
We need to celebrate a few birthdays and get through a few power outages. We need to ride bikes in the neighborhood and put up a Christmas tree. Once we shovel snow from our walk and spill milk in the dining room this place won’t feel so shiny.
We just need to make memories in this house before it really feels like ours.
We celebrated our wedding anniversary this past weekend, and it also happened to be the 4th of July, and Tom’s oldest and closest friends also happened to be in town. We had everyone over for pizza and watermelon, and even though it was cold and rainy, the kids swam until they were shivering.
That’s what it’ll take — pool parties on rainy days, and catching up with friends in the playroom while babies crawl over our laps.