It’s a sunny Saturday morning in this Cincinnati suburb, and I have nothing on the calendar. This kind of day always takes me back to the summer of 1997 when I moved into my home.
I had been living with a man in a house we bought together. It was on the opposite side of town in a rundown area. Why? A thousand reasons, all of them bad. He and I were mismatched, and once that fact was acted out enough times to become indisputable, I began looking at condos. I moved to this place in June, so happy.
I hadn’t liked it at first. I’d seen it during an open house when it was empty of furniture except for the lawn chair where the realtor was sitting. It had a tired look for sure, but after seeing the other choices I knew this should be my home.
When I moved in, the place had been a rental unit. The predominant interior color was gray and the décor seventies “modern,” if there is such a thing. I was on a budget, half scared I wouldn’t be able to pay the mortgage, but every week I bought myself flowers at the grocery store. I put the vase of bright blossoms on the coffee table for color.
On Saturdays like this one I marveled at my new place, going up and down the stairs cleaning, fussing with this or that, putting things away, and thinking about furniture. Well, furniture placement; I wouldn’t be redecorating for years.
Slowly I began to make changes, but that isn’t the point. The point is the way the sun was shining on those magical Saturdays when I could do what I wanted. Sometimes I stayed home and puttered, perfectly content. Sometimes I ran errands and bought something small for the house.
Seventeen years—nearly 18—have passed, and I still love my home. I still go up and down the stairs in the mornings getting coffee or doing laundry or just looking around, glad to be here. The only thing I would do if I could is to copy and paste, putting the clone next to a certain beach in the warm South. The sun has been out, but it’s darn cold here.