Off I marched, bucket in hand, to that new bathtub. Back I trudged to the kitchen, once it was full, to dump it into the sink. Then some trips for rinse water.
It was then that I realized that all other reading needs to be suspended so that I can reread the Little House on the Prairie books, because, my friends, I am living on the frontier in a house only slightly better than their cabin.
OK, that’s an exaggeration. And when I read the note on the shower wall, courtesy of Small Fry’s Crayola bathtub crayons, “Sometimes I feel like I let you down with this house,” I realized that the problem lies in me. This house is just that – a house. We make it our home by the efforts we put in it. Love it or hate it, it’s ours. We might have to cart water to the kitchen to do dishes, but we can revel in the old-fashioned line drying in the summertime, because there’s no Home Owners Association to forbid it. Yeah, I could do this all day – listing what we hate and countering with what we should be thankful for instead. It wouldn’t change the fact, though. We hate this house.
As my mother would say, “Join the club.” Every house – just like every person – has its special features. Some breathe a little too hard and let in the winter gales. Others have a hard time staying quiet and they creak all night long. There are the houses that inspire great works of art, and the houses that serve as refuge for those wandering souls who just need a fleecy blanket and a warm cuppa. There are vacation homes and model homes, and mine is neither.
Whatever romantic notions you have about old farmhouses, I have to say I can’t help sharing them. As long as I don’t have to live them.
And that makes me furrow my brow, dear friend, because I know a lot of Catholics who are that way. Do we have a tendency to be a conditional sort of being, we humans? We’ll love it, IF. We’ll do it, IF. We’ll obey, IF. Is there ever not an IF? Do we ever just trust and listen?
As for me, no. I’m trying, and if doing dishes the old old-fashioned way, carting water across my house and being reminded to pray for those who don’t have the luxury of ANY water is my nudge, then I should be thanking God, not griping about how I hate my house.
Okay, so I should no longer gripe about doing dishes by hand because I’ve not had to carry water to my sink. PTL for that!
Your old farmhouse has more than history, family memories, character, and charm that our new build ever will. I love the warm and cozy feeling I’ve felt when we’ve visited your home. There’s just something about the rustic charm that says “welcome” and “stay a while” more than new homes today.
Even with all that being said, I wouldn’t trade you! I like city life and my dishwasher although the homeowners assocation thing is a pain in the butt especially since I’m on the board!
Our house is only 40 years old, but out hot water heater broke lately, and we were carrying boiling pots of water upstairs to our lovely jacuzzi tub, to share what little hot water we could muster. I tried to talk on the phone once while carrying water, and have a lovely scar on my chest to show for it!
Now we have a new water heater, and I don’t complain much when I have to remember to turn it on 20 minutes before bath time.