Posted on | March 4, 2013 | 5 Comments
Every now and then, I recognize something about myself that, for whatever reason, I had not realized.
Yesterday, Taylor and I spent almost the entire day working on the house. I cleaned up the back yard, raked, and swept, and then moved inside to take care of babies and clean. Taylor worked on transitions, quarter round, baseboards, and spackling out some nasty areas where an old smoke detector and humidifier controller had been. In between work, I looked over some local real estate and we talked about “when we sell this house,” over and over again.
See, we have barely owned this house a year. In fact, we moved in just last May. The stability of an owned, not rented house, is something we haven’t experienced since childhood. We have lived in this house longer than any prior to this (I was in Georgia longer, but Tay was there less than a year when we moved again). We have grown accustomed to moving and starting over every little while. We are used to the chaos and the excitement of learning a new city and meeting new people. We have thrived through the years, learned more about ourselves and the world in every new state, and grown closer as a couple as we have had only each other to lean on in a strange town. We’ve loved some places (Savannah) and lamented others (North Chesterfield). We’ve made the best memories and grown a beautiful family.
When we moved to North Carolina, I remember thinking, “Finally….” Finally we would build our home. Finally we could provide that specialness of a childhood home to our babies. Finally we would make friends and be able to grow closer and closer to them instead of keeping our distance because we’ll have to say good-bye in a few short months. Finally we were home. And I still feel that way. I still love that we write a check for a mortgage instead of a rent. I love that we live close to family, in a sweet little neighborhood, with our backs to a lake. I love that my children are familiar with their home, that they play like puppies in our bonus room, and that they will make memories in this house and fill it with love. I would not mind staying in North Carolina indefinitely, but I can feel that wanderlust creeping in slowly.
I find myself saying things like, “New Mexico might not be so bad….” and “I wonder if I could stand Colorado winters?”. Taylor is the same way, bringing up different neighborhoods and towns in our area that might be a better fit for us n the future. We envision ourselves in a historic home downtown (one that has already been renovated some after our experience with this Money Pit!), and we talk about commutes and changes and when would be the right time to put our home on the market.
The answer is…not anytime soon, and we know that. There are a lot of things we want to do/need to do to this house before it’s ready to go back on the market. We are planning to put a new roof on (maybe this spring?!), gut the guest bathroom and redo it (probably not until next year or the year after even…), do quite a bit of landscaping, and fix some exterior issues (new shutters, paint wood trim, new exterior lights, new doors), and maybe even new windows. But it’s still fun to daydream about new and interesting changes and what they will someday bring to our family. I think the Wanderlust is a gene that must live deep inside every successful military family. Without it, it would be impossible to live happily while moving seven times in four years. It would be an exhausting and wearing lifestyle if you couldn’t embrace, and even crave, the moves and experiences. Because of it, we grow to look forward to new moves and new cities. We learn to be great long-distance friends. We learn that even when we are feeling lonely, we can turn to our spouse and find comfort and familiarity.
When I feel that bit of wanderlust creeping in, I remind myself of the blessings we’ve received as a family and this beautiful home we are building, and I remind myself to sit back and enjoy this ride. I have a feeling there will be big changes throughout our lives as Taylor’s career grows and changes, as I go to work, as the boys grow, and this little bit of down time feels welcomed and warm.