An Ode to a Home

When we were house hunting, we didn’t know what we wanted – we were just excited to finally be together.

I remember when we went to view this house. The lawn was unkempt, the whole house wreaked, there were marker drawings all over the walls and carpets, and it was over budget.

But for some reason, we were drawn to it. The house was close to my work, not too big and not too small, it overlooked a lake, and the owners loved us.

It was meant to be.

This house held so many memories – good and bad – and when I closed the door, handed over the keys, and left it for the last time, it was overwhelming.

This is where we would begin our life together – but it’s also where our love ended.

This is where we set up our first Christmas tree, wrapped garland around the banisters, cooked countless chicken dinners (because that’s all I can seem to cook), watched our favorite TV shows.

This house is where we brought a kitten home, where I sat out on the porch and “tanned,” where friends visited and stayed with us and marveled at how “in love” we seemed.

Laughter and love filled this house to the brim. But this is also where we fought, and cried, and yelled, and wondered how in the world we ever thought this could work out. This is where I was at my lowest, but it’s also where I was at my highest.

I was in love in this house, but I also lost that love in this house.

We made plans for our future in this house, talked about kids’ names, jobs we’d love to have, where we’d want to live, how our wedding would be.

And at the end, we cried and said our very last goodbye in this house.

I learned so much about love, partners, life, and myself living in this house, that I can’t help but be thankful.

This house was many things in the short year I lived in it. But one thing it will never stop being is a lesson, a stepping stone, something to remember but never to relive.

An Ode to a Home

Don’t Forget

The other day I was eavesdropping on a couple next to me (don’t act like you don’t do it). The lady sat down next to her husband and was reminding him to take his medication, asking him if he remembered to pack Kleenex, and telling him about the long list of to-do’s she has waiting for him back at home. He kept saying, “I won’t forget, I won’t forget, I won’t forget.” And that got me thinking about all the little things I don’t want to forget, the things that are so small, yet so important to me that I couldn’t stand not remembering. Not menial things, but things that from day-to-day, we all tend to forget about because they’re overshadowed by paying the bills, memorizing work presentations, and buying Christmas gifts (still have to do that…)

I want to remember all the little things in my every day.

To listen. Be curious. Remember birthdays (without an app). Remember things I’ve read, or movies I’ve seen again and again.

To memorize the pattern of freckles on his chest. Memorize poems. Memorize prayers.

To be spontaneous. Cheerful. Positive. Ambitious.

Be funny. Be happy. Be graceful.

I want to remember memories and special moments that helped carve me into who I am.

To remember how frigid the river felt on my toes. The feeling of sunshine on my shoulders and cheeks. The names of mountains and backcountry trails.

To remember the color of the towels in the bathroom. The price of ice cream at the corner store down the street.

To be adventurous and daring. To do things because I want to do them, not just because everyone else is.

To remember the sting on my knees after falling off my bike again and again and again.

To remember things we ate, special camping foods and birthday foods and “just because” restaurant outings.

To be honest and sure. To take photos and write everything down.

I want to remember who I am and where I came from, no matter where I am in life now.

To remember your hometown streets. The memories made there. The nicknames. The sunburns.

To remember to call and to write.

Remember the last time I saw you, the words we shared, the glances, the tears.

Remember the smell of lilies and gardenias. Remember to say “thank you.”

Remember to keep going, going, going.

I don’t want to forget to remember.

Don’t Forget