The kids call our house the new old house. That’s confusing but also totally not because we lived in this house when they were very young then we rented it out, moved across town and began calling this house “the old house,” then sold that house across town and moved away for a while and now we are back in the old house. But it’s also the new house since it’s not the house we used to live in across town or the one out of town but it’s still the old house because that’s what we used to call it. See? Also, it’s genuinely old and the floors are a bit tilt-y. But you get used to that.
Our house has many quirks, as I imagine most 100-plus-year-old houses do. The basement looks like something out of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the bathroom is minuscule, the radiators gently hiss most of the time except at 5:00 in the morning when they ping and hammer, and, as I mentioned, the floors are off-kilter. But in spite of it all, I loved this space 11 years ago when we bought it and I love it still. The pantry is fantastic. The kitchen is adorable. The back hall is wretched but has great potential. There’s a sweet little outdoor balcony where Steve (not his real name) and I can go chat. Not as a means of getting away from our children or anything. (Yes, it is.) We have a dedicated workroom for the kids, a huge dining room with a huge table made of reclaimed wood (I love crap like that) and a sunny, spacious living room. There is an enormous closet in the living room that not only stores a small desk, a bunch of totes, Steve’s (not his real name) suits and the twins’ princess dresses, but is also large enough to accommodate my yoga practice! I’m serious! It even has its own radiator so it’s toasty warm. And the light! The light in this house is endless.
When we were renting it out, I hated this house. So very much. Because it was stressful. And also there might have been hookers. There was also a lot of shenanigans and a few situations that caused some tears. And swearing. Lots and lots of swears. Many, many bad words. Like the time I spent an hour and a half crawling around the place with a putty knife scraping spit-out gum off the wood floors. I could not make that up even with my vastly creative mind because I cannot conceive of spitting gum out of my mouth in the place I call home even if I don't technically own it. But now that we’re back, the house is lovely again.
And now this house—considered a problem for quite a few years—has given me a gift.
I’ve written several posts about creating a writing space for myself. Nothing has ever really fit. Spaces stashed away in corners on too-small desks, a desk plunked in the kitchen, shelves positioned on walls behind doors and once a short span of the kitchen counter itself. But here I have a space that works! Tucked in the corner of the dining room in front of a window that spills light on a long table that holds my MacBook, my inspire pen cup, my paper sorting thingy and my organizing binder—open wide!—and furthermore, I actually want to sit here! I’m working on 2 new novels and I’m blogging again. I ordered the kids summer shoes already! Such a productive little space.
And I’m happy here. I hope wherever you are today, you are happy, too.
Find my novels, THE MOSQUITO HOURS and TALKING UNDERWATER, online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And don’t forget your local independent bookstore! I’m curious about something: would you like to stay up-to-date on news about my books as well as have my latest blog posts conveniently delivered to your inbox? Then subscribe to my newsletter! Click on that little box right over there on the right. See how easy I made that for you? (You’re welcome.)