Inside Lane

This House is Not a Home

I never liked this house. 

We moved from a pretty little Colonial, open floor plan, 2-story, on a wooded, water lot in Virginia, to an ugly, ranch style (gold and brown carpet throughout, and terrible, terrible wallpaper that is still here),1-story off a drainage ditch in Texas.  Granted, we could have moved into a castle, and I would have sulked.  I loved our house in VA, water rats and all (because I wasn’t old enough to be bothered by rats that were as big as our Shih Tzu.)

My first impression of this place was eating Patio burritos in front of the empty fireplace. Have you ever eaten a Patio burrito?  They are terrible.  They have all the makings of a real burrito, but taste like shoe.  It was fitting.  Because this house had all the makings of a good house–lots of rooms, a good backyard, a good climbing tree in front–but it tasted like shoe.

I didn’t like it.  I was afraid of it, and our fearless Husky seemed to be, too.  We thought we had lost her the day we moved in. Hours later, after searching the streets for her, we found her under a bed, against the wall, shivering.  My sentiments exactly.  Although, after a short lifetime of loving to hide under my bed, I suddenly had a reason never to venture there.

We had traded water rats for water bugs and drainage ditch rats, and no matter how clean the house was, there were those bugs.  Hated those.  They blended in with the brown carpet, so sometimes you didn’t know one was there until it had run across your toe.  They climbed curtains, and bed hangings, too. There was that incident with the canopy netting I tried to install, that has put me off canopies entirely.

If the uglies and the bugs weren’t enough, there were all the thumps and creaks of a new-to-us house to get used to.  Squirrels, rats, and oppossums in the attic and walls competed for attention, and I swore the place was haunted.

We hadn’t been here too long, me nursing my 11-year-old suspicions about ghosts, before the next door neighbor clued me in that a suicide had taken place in my bedroom.  That was just the cherry on top of poo sundae.

Mom has been in this house for 32 years, since we moved in on November 4, 1981.  I have never learned to like it, much less love it.  In fact, I still hate it.  It’s like I hold this house responsible for everything bad that ever happened to me. To be fair, a good number of bad things went down in this house.

It’s funny to have a grudge against a house.  I have loved, or at least had some fondness for every other home I’ve been in–apartments included. 

I probably just need to get someone to come smudge it out with sage. 

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