We Are Home… And Our Home has a Soul

[Photo: Looking up the street from our kitchen window, you can see the carpet of green tree-tops and the handsome corbels over our bedroom windows.]

After waking up in our new bedroom for the very first time on Tuesday morning, the feeling that we are home really began to take hold for both of us. We are home.

It doesn’t matter that there are still 120 plus boxes to unpack, or that we are still missing a few key items such as night stands (I used a chair, Yoav used a box), or window coverings (a purple sheet is keeping the neighbors across the street from peering in), or an operational kitchen (we are set up with microwave, fridge, and the bathroom sink).

What matters is that we woke up in our new home, our dream home, our half classic six. We awoke in the home we discovered after more than a year of going to more than fifty open houses to find. A home that we have spent the past four months waiting to finally move into. Never mind that we are still months away from having a fully functioning kitchen, or that we are at least a dozen gallons of paint away from having walls that are not “Landlord White” (re: uglier than beige). Yoav and I find ourselves frequently giddy about our future in our new home. I (we) know there will be many challenges ahead, and that all is not always as rosy at it appears. We also know that our mutual gratitude for all that we have in our lives will give us a bright future regardless of what happens. We are home…. That’s what matters…. And oh does it feel amazing.

When I was in my 20s and even into my 30s I mostly lived in apartments in Seattle and Portland (OR) which were always somewhat run down, always small, usually old, and very basic… Mostly working class housing built before the depression. I have had claw-foot tubs (with and without a shower), ice boxes (the type that actually held blocks of ice), original glass cabinets with wavy glass, 1920s gas stoves (which required a box of wooden matches to use), and endured separate hot and cold taps in the bathroom and once even in the kitchen. All of these apartments had one thing about them that made me happy…. That was character, a sense of place, a soul even. It didn’t matter that these early 20th century working class apartments were never fancy, or that they lacked outlets, or were laden with layers upon layers of paint. The feeling of character, of having a soul was omnipresent.

About as quintessential New York as one can get on the Upper West Side.

About as quintessential New York as one can get on the Upper West Side. Our home has a soul.

During those younger years, I occasionally had the experience of visiting the homes of others whose lives were lived at a higher household income (and whom were usually much older) than I had. I would marvel at the details in their homes, or the feeling of graciousness… Sometimes I would also feel their homes had a sense of soul like the working class ones I had come to know so well. Always as I marveled at the beauty of the spaces, I believed that these types of spaces were never going to be a part of my world beyond the occasional visit. I simply wasn’t good enough to have such things or I didn’t deserve them. I didn’t believe in myself…. Turns out, I was so very wrong…

What changed? I changed… Partly as the result of age and time. As I have gotten older, my accumulated means have gotten better. But mostly the change is due to my attitude. I am no longer that scared little boy who had no belief in himself… I had learned to like who I am for the very first time (many thanks to several years of weekly visits to my former therapist). I finally have taken to heart what others saw in me that I could never seen in myself. It is through this change that I believe my world opened up and allowed so many good things to flow in. The more grateful I am, the more I have to be grateful for. And today… I am about as f*cking grateful as I have ever been.

Now as I stand in my new home (in its current fixer upper state), I marvel at the amazing bones of the space, the generous room proportions, and gracious feeling one gets when surrounded by such detail. I dream about how I (we) can make this home a place to really live in, to grow old in…. But above all, I am grateful for the feeling that our home has a soul…. The immortal essence of a living thing…. Grateful we are finally home.

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