Making a House a Home

Making a House a Home

posted in: Domesticity | 0

The Man of the House and I have lived in many a domicile.

From our very first apartment to tiny older houses, modern rentals, spacious homes we renovated and even our own self-designed and built from scratch home.

Each move was a step up in some way.

Either a nicer neighborhood, a larger place or more land.

We loved virtually every place we had the privilege of calling our own, even if for a short while.

We cared for them and did our best to leave them in better condition than when we moved in.

So our last move was different.


Life experience is a funny thing.

You think, by the time you enter your thirties, you have a pretty good idea of what you want from life.

You usually have a vision for your dream home and maybe even a Plan B home, if said dream home isn’t within your grasp.


Or, maybe you don’t care a bit about the home you live in, as long as it’s a solid roof over your head.


Having moved so many times by choice, and having experienced a variety of places, our 20’s and 30’s ‘ideal home’ idea changed drastically.

Down to four kids at home out of the original six, and realizing every few years we’d have less; we began to switch gears and look to the future a little further.


Did we really want another huge house?

Heating and cooling a large space, cleaning three or more bathrooms, stairs (and vacuuming the stairs!), not to mention cost, were some things we reevaluated.

Our top priorities were these: To be out of debt, have a solid, one-level home with plenty of windows for light, a covered porch, decently sized kitchen and room for family gatherings.

We already had the land.

I must have drawn out a hundred floor plans over the course of a year and a half, while we carefully weighed our options.

Prices were high for building again and in our small town, houses come up for sale infrequently.

We had a paid-for acreage- barren of trees and shrubs though it was- but we couldn’t settle on what to create upon it.


Honestly, I was unhappy that things weren’t coming together smoothly for us.

We kept hitting road blocks or didn’t feel right about spending the money….so we waited.


I remember saying, at one point, that I’d rather live in a yurt on some land than a house in town on a tiny lot.

I felt frustrated that I couldn’t have the best parts of other states we’d lived in while living in Idaho, where we loved the people.


Mainly, it felt unfair to begin again on an empty piece of land after we’d planted so many trees and shrubs at every house we’d lived.


I may have been a little ungracious and ungrateful, I was so focused on what I had envisioned.


It’s just that I was tired and you reach a certain age where the thought of waiting five to ten years for a tree to mature just seems too long.

The only bright spot was that our neighbor’s tree line bordered our land.


So this reevaluation period took a looong time. Meanwhile, life was filled with busy family days, graduating teens and the like.


We were spurred into action by our landlord deciding to sell her house.

Suddenly, we had a little over a month to figure something out.


Exploring our options, we decided to go and look at new manufactured homes.  I’ve always enjoyed touring homes, seeing different floor plans and color schemes.

So this was a fun afternoon date.

What I didn’t realize, was that we were going to be purchasing our house.

We purchased a manufactured home.


You know those times in life when you feel motivated by practicality and frugality?

When you know you’re being smart but it hurts a little?

That’s how we came to feel by the end of that day. Or at least I did.


We did not buy the nicest home nor the largest they had for sale.

Wishing I’d never even looked at those models, my heart panged a little when the papers were signed and we drove away owning their deeply discounted four bedroom, two bath model, that had sat unloved on their lot for over two years.

I thought the exterior was unnatractive, the kitchen too small.  Compared to their well thought-out, spacious luxury models, this one was quite lacking in my opinion.

All of the hours I’d spent carefully designing floor plans and home designs on grid paper were now basically wasted.



Still.  We patted eachother on the back, reminded ourselves of the money we’d saved and got excited about starting fresh on our own land, in our own home.

Really, we were incredibly grateful.  Just trying to switch gears and gain new vision for our place.


The day it arrived was comical. 

How often does a person get to see their house coming down the road in two sections?

My teen son was in town with friends and saw half a house coming around the corner.  They all stopped and watched as it continued on its way….he didn’t know whether to be happy or embarrassed, he said.

My youngest daughters were out on their horses, watching the new house cross the pasture below before arriving in its place.

It was an interesting afternoon.





With anticipation and renewed determination to make my house my home, I began to brainstorm how to transform this dwelling into a place I could truly love.

My new Dream Home.


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