Grateful for… my humble home

Lately I have been feeling quite negative about my home, my neighbourhood, my suburb.

It’s been a feeling that has been growing for a few years but has really escalated with the saga of getting our little boy into school.  You see, we live on the outskirts of a suburb that has a very mixed demographic.   When we moved here 10 years ago our little cottage was the last house in our sleepy street. Our big block is at the top of a hill. We had a wonderful view, a neighbouring farm and an environmental park across the street.  We had lovely neighbours whose kids would play cricket outside our house, scaring away the wallabies who would come to eat our grass. It was bliss.

But our neighbours have moved, the farm is now a development and the wallabies have found a new home. Things have changed immeasurably.  Our plan was to move before our first child went to school. Enter the GFC and its devastating effect on the building industry. My husband’s industry.  Enter anxiety about money, weeks without work, plans put on hold.

We are far from destitute (fortunately as being frugal is not my strong point) but committing to a large mortgage when our financial future is uncertain is not a situation we want to be in.

So here we are today. Not in the catchment area of the school we want. Anxious about the prospect of sending our baby to a school with a somewhat questionable reputation. (But perhaps I’m a school snob? Possibly a concept that needs to be explored in another post).

All my emotions – confusion, resentment, anxiety, disappointment – have been directed at our house. If only it was 2km down the road!  We can’t sell. We can’t buy. Trapped.

But then I took the time to look, really look, around our house, our home. 

Every significant event in my life in the last 10 years has a memory associated with this house.  I remember when we first joked about the idea of getting married in Fiji, sitting in the dining room of this home. I can tell you the exact spot I was standing in the hallway when my doctor phoned to say was I pregnant with Will. The living room is the backdrop of a vivid recollection of sitting, heavily pregnant, sobbing as my mum told us my grandfather was gone. 

And most importantly, all of my boys firsts – rolls, steps, words, all happened here. In our home.  A place that echoes daily with their cheeky laughter, mischievous play and raucous rough-housing.  

Yes, there’s the daggy kitchen, total lack of storage (think golf clubs living in the laundry) and of course the horrid retro red and black bathroom that I can never get 100% mold free.  But there is also the magnificent bottle tree, the pool and of course the brick fireplace that I fell in love with the moment I walked in the door.

How can I resent such a special place?  This house is our first family home.  It is a place my boys will remember and treasure their whole lives.

I can’t resent a place like that. I can only be so very, very grateful.

Don’t forget to visit Maxabella loves…for more thankful thoughts.

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Comments

  1. Yep, don’t talk to me about real estate. We had to sell our house because we couldn’t afford the mortgage after my husband was off work for a while. We bought our house during the boom and paid top dollar for it, and had to sell it when the market dropped out. We ended up owing money at the end. And we have been renting ever since. With the GFC tightening lending and 4 little kids to support I don’t like our chances of saving up a $50,000 deposit any time soon. In the end, a house is just a roof over your head. As long as your family is together, that’s what makes a home. We don’t have catchment restrictions where I live so I drive my boys across the other side of town to go to a good school – I hate the school run with a passion but you gotta do what you gotta do!

    • Oh that’s terrible! Thank you for giving me another reason to be grateful. If we had bought a couple of years ago we could have been in the same situation. I hope it all works out & hang in there for that school run!

  2. So glad to see that you found so many positives in your situation. We are trying to decide the school issue at the moment. We have three schools in our catchment and not sure which way to go.

    I totally get where you are coming from too. We live in a newish estate, when we were building there were a lot of either young families or older couples. Four years later, big companies have bought a lot of the house on one side of us (we live on a corner block) and they are now effectivly ‘singles persons quarters’ hardly ideal. But we are stuck with it for the next few years atleast.

  3. The first family home with always hold such wonderful memories, especially when children are involved. There are things I would love to change about our house, but really, I’m extremely grateful we live here too. 🙂

  4. What a turnaround, Nee. I’m so glad that you were able to find the positive in your situation. I think it’s all to easy in life to focus on the negatives and forget that there are often ample positives to compensate. Sometimes our ‘ideal life’ is just a pipe dream and our ‘real life’ is just as good anyway. ‘Make do’ was our grandparents’ generations motto and I sometimes think they were really onto something. I think happiness is a lot about being able to ‘make do’ in life.

    Enjoy your home, Nee. Whether it’s temporary or not, it is home right now. x

  5. I had to laugh when you said about the lack of storage and then saw the photo of the house in question, if you want to talk about lack of storage and room try squeezing 5 ppl into a 2 bedroom town house! We are in the same boat as you with the can’t sell and can’t buy dam you GFC!

    • ooh I know. I’ve got it good right? Although that pic does make it look rather more palatial than it is. Will be using it for real estate purposes if we ever get there!! We do have a converted carport to make our 3rd bedroom though so can’t complain. Hope your future brightens xx

  6. Nicely said 🙂 I was completely gutted to pack up & leave our first home, and im fairly sure I still grieve for the place, and almost come to tears when I drive past these days.. I too can remember laying on the bare floor waiting for the electricity to be turned on the day we took ownership, . the exact track where I paced the hallway in labor with all 3 of my boys, crouching in the corner of the kitchen counting each floor board to get through it. The days I bought each one of them home and watched them sleep in their bedrooms, and feed them out on the deck watching the sun go down.. Whilst I wanted a new kitchen, bigger rooms & live in new places, It was very difficult to leave that piece of our life. Fairly sure my memory will never forget, and god knows I have enough photos to go with it 🙂

    • You have lots of photos? Really? 😉 At least you have the memories (& photos) and now have the new kitchen etc! Can’t wait to come sit in that kitchen soon xx

  7. Nee, it sounds like the exact same scenario I’m in. When we moved here, quiet street, young families or older, kids moved out, couples. A lot of properties have become rentals and lots of loud music late at night (good grief – like who would’ve thought that’d make ME cranky LOL). We live in a lovely environment, great choice of schools (I’m a bit of a school snob too but wishing I wasn’t – just want the best education for my kids), and so close to everything we’ll ever need. We also have so many memories too. Got married here, brought both kids home, our first pets together as a couple and the house was really nice back then. Now it’s just become a dumping ground for toys and clutter. If I could work on that I’m sure I’d get it back to it’s former glory! (Trying to work out where it is you live.)

    Anne xx

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  1. […] know it’s all very materialistic faff and I really am grateful for my humble home and life of privilege, but sometimes it’s nice to dream, […]

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