Monday, March 1, 2010


I was considering built-in bookshelves upstairs. It's no secret that I have books piling up there and every time I get a new bookshelf, it barely puts a dent in my overflowing stacks of books. But then I had a thought: Before I put more money into this house, am I sure we're going to be here for forever? After all, I heard about the new tax break and there are so many foreclosures. Would it not make sense (financially) to get into a bigger house now?

So we've been looking. There are a lot of beauties out there, and I've fallen in love at least five times already. We put an offer on a house in South Jordan (one that hasn't officially been denied but looks like we're not going to get). Still, I'm looking and falling in love with other houses. But the truth is, I still love my house. I've lived here almost 10 years and I still look around me and love this very house I've lived in forever. It's not as grand as the houses we've been looking at, but it's ours and I love it. I walk into each room and think, Do I really want to leave?

Especially when I walk into Miranda's room. It's here I feel I can be near her anytime. In this room, she slept and cried and laughed and played. I remember lovingly planning this room for months (and then taking another several months painting it) and then the months it took to find the teapot chandelier. Now we use it as a reading room or for "quiet" play. There's this silly Strawberry Shortcake doll in the closet that just blurts outs "Bye, bye, sweet friend" every once in a while. She's only supposed to do it when touched, but she's been on the top shelf in the closet and says it when I'm alone in there. I could be wrong, but I like to believe it's Miranda telling me she's there with me.

When I think about moving from my house, I worry that I'd be abandoning her and moving away from my baby in the one house where she lived. I feel guilty just thinking about moving.


This morning, while Portia and I were drinking our hot cocoa in the kitchen that I still love, I pulled out a book of poetry and started reading her some of my favorite poems and started on this one:

The Home With Nobody In It by Joyce Kilmer

WHENEVER I walk to Suffern along the Erie track
I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black.
I suppose I've passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute
And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it.

I never have seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things;
That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings.
I know this house isn't haunted, and I wish it were, I do;
For it wouldn't be so lonely if it had a ghost or two.

This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass,
And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass.
It needs new paint and shingles, and the vines should be trimmed and tied;
But what it needs the most of all is some people living inside.

If I had a lot of money and all my debts were paid
I'd put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade.
I'd buy that place and fix it up the way it used to be
And I'd find some people who wanted a home and give it to them free.

Now, a new house standing empty, with staring window and door,
Looks idle, perhaps, and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store.
But there's nothing mournful about it; it cannot be sad and lone
For the lack of something within it that it has never known.

But a house that has done what a house should do, a house that has sheltered life,
That has put its loving wooden arms around a man and his wife,
A house that has echoed a baby's laugh and held up his stumbling feet,
Is the saddest sight, when it's left alone, that ever your eyes could meet.

So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track
I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back,
Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen apart,
For I can't help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken heart.

Maybe this is my answer; maybe I should just give up the idea of moving. I'd be heartbroken to abandon my house. I'd be heartbroken to abandon Miranda. I'm still overflowing with books whether it's in this house or that. I hate making decisions!


Doug and Christie said...

It is SO hard to make decisions. Good luck with these choices. I could argue both sides up and down. I do think that you would not be abandoning Miranda. She will be with you. That may be the house that held her but you are the person that held her and she won't leave you alone. On the other hand, that is where you have built your life and leaving is really hard. Believe me. I guess it comes down to this: Is this where you picture yourself forever? It's a beautiful house and anyone would be lucky to live there. But there's nothing wrong with wanting your dreams to come true too. There. How's that for no help at all?

Anonymous said...

Love it! What a great poem. Makes me want to be more loyal to my house too. You'll make the right decision.

Jenny or sometimes Bozo said...

You pick hard decisions. I really like Doug and Christie's comment and echo it. I totally see both sides. I think I would feel the exact same way you do if I were you...geesh, I'm helpful:)

rachel said...

I love your house. It's so you.
That was a lovely poem. I know it's not an easy decision and your home holds so many memories of your beautiful Miranda. Christie's right. She is within you. I wish you the best in this decision. I know you will know what's best when the time comes. :)

Duston said...

What a beautiful post - I love reading your blog. Thank you. I like everyone else feels the same as Christie. Miranda will always be with you!