‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Saturday, June 20, 2009

feed the house

A few posts back, I claimed our house is "bigger than it needs to be." This, of course, is completely open to interpretation.

It is not especially large by American standards. I am always finding myself in homes larger than ours. Not in the way I once found myself in someone else's house because it looked like mine and I accidentally walked in and wondered who had moved the stairs. More like people invite me over and I find myself looking for a bathroom and wondering if there is a kiosk with a site map.

The family who lived here before us had ten kids. Those kids had friends, and as a result, nearly every person in town has been to our house. One person remembers ice skating on the pond across the street. Another used to climb the tree next to the house and sit on the roof. I hear stories all the time. So really, there were 10 kids living here, but from the sound of it, there were 30 or so people milling around at any given time. I want to go hug the mom.

It would be interesting to have a time lapse video of the house over a few generations. I picture people spilling out of it, in bell-bottoms and halter tops, and then skinny jeans and skinny ties. Many would be carrying guitars. Some would be sitting on the roof.

And the house would have a contented look on its face. It whispers to people "come! stay!" It gives them a beanbag chair or a hammock or an air mattress and tells them to be comfortable. It is always looking for more.

Because our kids can't share one little bedroom forever, we think about what we will do in the future. We don't worry about it now, because honestly? If we put them in their own big rooms, we'd find them every morning, holed up in the little bedroom. It's close to us. They're close to each other. It's much friendlier than having their own rooms.

So, it's not time yet, but on down the road, we have a game plan. A plan in which everyone has their own room and our laptops come off the coffee table and move into a real office.

The words sound lonely as I type them. It feels empty and too spread out. I can't picture it now, because my kids don't have their own friends, coming and going like picnic ants. But they will, soon enough. The time lapse film will continue for another generation, with various cars in the driveway and a host of new faces appearing in the windows.

I don't think the house would allow it to be any other way. I know this because the Upstairs Neighbors are not home and, despite the presence of a band in the basement last night, the house is beginning to fret. It's quiet, and a little sulky.

It sends subliminal postcards to our out of state families, inviting them to come for a visit. It whispers to Lucy "make cookies for the band." It makes unexpected new friends and invites them over. "Here," it says, "have a bean bag chair."


Bella said...

i love that your house is quiet with two little people in it. i sometimes think my house is pleading for a break once in a while. but it's fun that you are a part of such history....too bad there are no books or video on that. and i totally understand the need for the kids to stay close. my girls share two bedrooms between them and often end up all in one double bed.
if your house needs some company, i have a three little girls that could chase studley around and make an awful lot of noise, really!

Zip n Tizzy said...

Sounds like a great house. I always feel like I'm reading about another member of your family when you talk about your house.
We were just talking about how our house will probably feel small by the time our boys are teens, but for now it's just right. They share a room and I think they'd be very lonely at night without each other,

The Whispering Poppies said...

We still have room-sharing here. And at this stage of the game, I don't think that will change anytime soon. But just the thought of it changing rather makes me sad, because it means the munchkins won't be munchkins for much longer. I had a "single" my last semester at our alma mater, and honestly wish I hadn't. It was lonely not having all that girly chit-chat all hours of the night (really)!

Dana's Brain said...

I love hearing about your house. It's so nice when a house has a good history. I sometimes think the former owners of our house left some bad karma. We're doing our best to get rid of it!

Tiny Dancer said...

Houses do have souls (is that too deep a word for it?) Ours is all single woman. It's an odd dynamic to live with 2 men in a house that is so steeped in a single woman vibe. I think there's a feng shui/space clearing solution, but I don't know how I feel about that.

Your house has a welcome everyone, lets hang out vibe. I'm not surprised it used to house 10 kids!

Greg said...

I just love your brain. The rest of you, too, of course. But I really love the way you think and the way you write and well...hey, you're just terrific, aren't you.

I bet your house thinks so, too.


(Wow, my word verification is "world")

JAbel said...

The house I lived in till 8th grade was a Cape Cod and my four brothers and I were always switching roomies between the two bedrooms we shared.I thought Lucy was now Sugarplum.

Susan said...

You are all so nice, I don't even know what to say. I sometimes feel like the blog is an extension of the house. Thanks for being here! Want a cookie?