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Pickle Me This

February 29, 2008


The first house that was ours had been “mine” previously, and we shared it with a roommate. It was a two-up-two-down terrace house in the Midlands, with hideous wallpaper and a carpet that melted when you sat a cup of tea upon it. The door blew open with the wind. And the situation was only meant to be temporary, so we slept on an inflatable mattress, but then temporary turned into six months, the mattress exploded, we had to buy another, and that one had a hole so we were always on the floor by morning. We didn’t even own a kettle and we boiled water for tea in a pot.

Our next house was company accommodation in Japan, barely furnished, but big enough and beautiful. Our bedroom had tatami floors and sliding walls, and still there were no beds for us because we slept on futons. We had a gorgeous balcony with a cherry blossom view, and we could see the mountains and we lived on top of a sushi shop, but then we had to move because the rent was extortionate.

Our next house was a small box. A galley kitchen held a bar fridge and a hot plate, we had one cupboard and a washing machine in the corner. The bathroom had a sliding door and was about the size of a bathroom on an airplane. The main room was sunny, about seven feet wide and five feet long. We had a view of a pachinko parlour The ceiling was high, which was fortunate because we slept on a wood platform just below it. To reach our bed every night we had to climb up a ladder. We were lucky we could sit up on our futons and read without bumping our heads.

We’ve lived in our current apartment since we moved to Canada in 2005. We were attracted to its straight angles, neutral colours, to its gorgeous touches and its lack of quirks. I was coveting drawers and storage closets. It was clean, bright, beautiful, and we didn’t even have to look for it as I’d inherited it from my cousin. It was home, because we’d never really had a home before. We were able to unpack things that had been packed up for years. To live in a place with the intention of staying awhile, to live through multiple sets of seasons, to know our neighbours, grow food in the garden, to become best friends with the guy downstairs, to learn to cook, to write a novel, to have dinner parties and tea parties, watch the struggling tree outside the window hold onto itself for dear life.

But it’s time to go– we’ve known it for a while. The house seems to expand to accommodate each new piece of furniture we stuff inside, but we fear that it may reach capacity sometime soon. And so just a few days ago we set off on a hunt for a new home, which we spotted as soon as it was in sight. The only place we looked at, in truth, but then we also knew exactly what we wanted. We found it, and tonight we learned it’s to be ours come April 1st. A wonderful, weird and beautiful place, the top two floors of a house in the Annex, with two balconies, built in shelves, a second bedroom/office, gorgeous light, and in-house laundry– the latter I’ve not had the pleasure of since I lived with my mom and dad. The apartment has charm, beauty, and seems ready to hold us and our abundance of stuff. And I think we’ve been waiting for each other.

4 thoughts on “Home”

  1. Leah says:

    Congratulations, it sounds absolutely lovelywonderful.

  2. Rona Maynard says:

    You’re free at last from the tyranny of laundromats! Here’s to your new life.

  3. Curtis says:

    Congrats. Hopefully i’ll be able to move in downstairs soon 🙂

  4. Mom Clare says:

    Wow!!! More room for the mother-in-law!!! See you soon!

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