We were watching an episode of “Love It or List It” on HGTV, when the General asked: “Can you imagine living in the same home all of your life?” The episode of “Love It or Leave It” we were watching featured a family where the husband had lived in the same house all of his life. Every memory he had associated to home and family held that same frame of reference.
The husband was adamantly opposed to moving. He was convinced that some changes could be made to their existing home that would satisfy his wife’s desire for an updated, open concept. She was equally steadfast regarding her perception that it was time to move.
I can’t imagine living in the same house for a lifetime. My substitution of the word “house” for “home” is intentional. From my perspective, isn’t it true that a house is not a home until you settle in and make it your own? At a grassroots level, my “house” is, for all regards and purposes, the cage I live in. The concept of “home” is something I carry with me from one cage to the next cage.
I really hadn’t stopped to think about it until now, but during my growing up years, every memory associated to “home” was in the same house. The street address was 512 Clifford Street in Odessa. My parents moved from that location after I graduated from high school. When I think of my childhood home, I associate it to that location.
Actually, it gets a little confusing. I don’t remember the house, but I do remember that for a brief period of time, our family lived in Snyder. I was a preschooler at the time. I only have one memory from that experience. I still remember being tied up and put in a cardboard box and left on the train tracks. I know what you’re thinking. You’re right, “It really does sound like something out of a horror movie”. However, there was no real attempt to kill me. The person(s) responsible were probably old enough to be in the first or second grade. They were the sons of one of my mother’s friends. Of course, they were only playing, but I don’t remember thinking the game was fun.
The premise for the “Love It Or List It” series is simple: “When a house no longer feels like home, homeowners are left with a big financial and emotional question: renovate or sell it? Love It or List It helps fed-up homeowners decide. In each hour-long episode Realtor David Visentin and designer Hilary Farr compete for the homeowners’ final decision to stay or go. David’s insider perspective on the real estate market helps target listings to prospective buyers, but Hilary is determined to show homeowners that, within their budget, she can transform their worn-out house into a castle they can love. If the owners decide to list it, Hilary’s hard work adds to the home’s resale value. It’s a tough decision either way. Which choice would you make?”
The General and I have lived in lots of places. Across 47 years of marriage, we’ve lived in 29 different houses. In every one, we made it our home. Consequently, to answer the General’s question, “I cannot imagine living in one house all of my life.”
The episode of “Love It or List It” brought a couple of different questions to my mind. The first question related to the appraised value of the house and the second related to lifestyle. “Can you believe their house is appraised at $2.1 million?” was my first question. The second question was, “Can you believe people live like that?”
If you lived in a $2.1 million dollar home, would you want to move? I was shocked by the price of the real estate. It was not a house I would have wanted to call home. Secondly, the level of clutter throughout the house was beyond belief. Actually, what was true for the home being featured is equally true of many of the homes featured on the episode where folks are attempting to decide whether to love it or list it. Clutter and a lack of organization are paramount. I couldn’t live like that.
How do people live with so much stuff scattered everywhere? It would make me beyond crazy. It would not be a place that I could settle in and make it my home even if it was appraised for $2.1 million. Getting back to the concept that my ‘house’ is for all regards and purposes, is the cage I live in, I should probably also add that “I want it to be clean and uncluttered”.
In case you’re wondering, the “Love It or List It” family opted to stay in their home rather than move. The “re-do” did look amazing; however, I would have opted to move. The family found the perfect house for their needs, but opted not to take it. They were drawn back by the sense of home. I see it happen all the time on that show. People who verbalize the need for more space opt subsequently settle for the renovated status quo because once it is reconfigured it looks better.
We have been in our current home 13 years. I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Consequently, I need to get today’s blog posted and straighten my office before the General knows it is morning. I just looked around and realized that I am dangerously close to being asked, “Would you like to get the clutter out of your office?”
All My Best!