Here We Are

We live in a neighborhood of very big, old houses on a street where the trees used to be so lush that city workers could walk from one end of the street to the other on top of the branches. I know that because a city arborist told me. It must have been a sight to see although I’m betting no one living has seen it, just heard the stories passed down from one arborist to the other in the City Hall breakroom.

The people who live in my neighborhood aren’t rich. The rich people live a few streets over in houses that front on Lake Michigan. On our street we have professors and lawyers, an emergency room doctor, and a home care agency director and, oh, a carpenter who lives on the corner. He has made a career of fixing our houses, every month his sign is in front of another house, causing me to wonder whether he will move to another neighborhood with ancient houses when he has fixed up all of our houses.

The houses were made for large families at the beginning of the last century. Each house has a third floor, its construction tall and stout, the city’s 50 foot lot size restraining any spread. You could envision a few neighbors being able to shake hands, the space between structures so small. Our house, built in 1911, has a small driveway between us and our southern neighbor, a driveway built for a Model T. Our truck stays parked on the street.

People ask us when we are downsizing. Our four kids are long gone. Now, it’s two people and two dogs living in a space meant for seven or eight or more and who knows how many dogs. An army could probably live here, bivouac at least, there is plenty of space.

But we are unmoved, in every sense. This is our street, our windows, our view, our tall three-story house that has rooms we don’t go in but maybe two or three times a year. But the rest of the house is lived in, typed in, cooked in, talked in, loved in. Every inch has our fingerprints, our intentions and history. So we are here for a while, hopefully, a good long while. It’s where we live.

3 thoughts on “Here We Are

  1. I love your house and have never been there. We too are in that same situation, four bedrooms (two turned into studio/office space, one for each of us. A swimming pool that we merely tend to and enjoy as something pretty to look at most of the time. A garden small enough for us to keep tidy and attractive. Many ask us when we are going to sell the family home and get a more sensible dwelling but we have not found anything that suits as yet, we are not looking that hard. Because, as you say, it is our house, it’s where we live.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We feel the same way. There is always a question from a well-meaning friend about when, like them, we might be moving to a condo closer to the city. For now that option just doesn’t feel like us. We like our house in the suburbs with re-purposed empty bedrooms that include a gym in the basement and separate home offices for each of us. It’s a house that’s well-lived in and well-loved.

    Like

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