As we embark on our next adventure, I can’t help but look back at the circuitous road that is leading us back to the Bay Area, all the places we’ve lived since we left and how important or unimportant it is to call it a house or a home.
Three and a half years ago I flew out to meet Michael in Boston by myself. He’d left a few weeks earlier with the pets and I remember only bits and pieces of that journey. But, what I do remember clearly is the flight attendants on that particular flight. I got up to stretch my legs somewhere mid-flight and they asked if I was headed home or away. Feeling a little lost I said I was moving to Boston to be with my boyfriend and one of them commented on how wonderful it was that I was taking a leap of faith for love. It was the first time I had ever lived more than a few hours from my childhood home and although I really wanted to live on the East Coast, there were a lot of unknowns.
We made our home in a beautiful apartment on the Charles River where you could see the fireworks display on the 4th of July and the rowers during the summer. It was in that apartment where we hunkered down during my first experience with a blizzard, a hurricane and the fear following the Boston Marathon bombings. That apartment saw our first days of being an engaged couple, I practiced teaching sequences to its walls and I wrote my first blog posts to the sounds of WBGO radio. Boston didn’t become our forever home but neither Michael nor I would take back that year. It was transformative for both of us in so many ways.
A year later, knowing we didn’t want to stay in Boston, we decided to come back to Michael’s home state, Colorado. He hadn’t lived there for years and we were looking to be closer to family and in a more affordable area. We ended up in Denver with no jobs and no real plan. We somehow managed to get someone to rent us a little house in Wash Park on good faith and a big deposit. That little two bedroom house was old and felt like we could never get it clean enough but it was the house where we settled in to our first few months of marriage. Our next door neighbors loved Eli and took care of him while both of us were making the long daily trips to and from Boulder and I taught one of my favorite classes around the corner on Gaylord Street. We only lived in that house for 6 months but I have fond memories of it as our newlywed home.
Our next stop was a two story brick house in West Highlands. The house had more space then we needed and a room with one bright green wall that really didn’t make sense given the rest of the house. Although it was updated and beautiful, mice always manage to get in, not knowing they would would soon meet their fate at the hands of Guy. It was here that I, unfortunately, learned how to sweep up dead mice.
It was also in that house where we first saw those two pink lines and realized our lives were about to change forever. I slogged through first trimester blues in that living room and sat out on the brink patio talking to my mom about our soon-to-be little girl.
Never ones to stay put, a year later we decided to buy our own house in the Berkley/Highland area of Denver. The brick bungalow drew me in immediately with it’s exposed brick and modern kitchen and bathrooms. It was here that we thought we’d build our house into a home. We painted one bedroom a soft yellow and brought a two day old Noe through it’s front door. I saw the evening shadows dance on the walls through bleary 3am eyes and walked the hardwoods trying to get a newborn to quiet down.
However, through all this moving I’ve realized that it isn’t about the walls or the paint, the brick patios or the hardwoods. A place to live can be a house or home. I prefer not to put that much attachment on it. In the end, it’s the memories, the feelings, the people that matter, not what it’s made of or the stuff inside. I thank each and every one of those homes for sheltering and supporting us on our adventure and look forward to the next house in the journey.
See you in California.
Enjoy and Exhale!