On Saturday we handed over the keys to our apartment, locking that door to K305 one last time. I have no attachment to those walls, I tell myself and yet I feel like we’ve just closed a chapter of our lives. It was the first place I came home to in this country and for Matt and I, it is where we became a sort of couple. Of course, the two of us spent today vacuuming the floors (him) and deep-cleaning the kitchen (me) in celebration of letting that place go. It felt bittersweet, but he keeps saying “good riddance” and I have no choice but to move on. Today the old fridge looked cleaner than I’ve ever seen it before. I wish I moved into a place with a kitchen that sparkly! Future renters, we made magical things in that space. As I walked through the house – sunlight pouring in – looking for places for the last batch of things we uprooted from the old flat, I thought to myself: “This kind of feels like home.”
The past 3 weeks have been a blur of shoving things into a car, rock camp and work time fun times that culminated into us sleeping in this gigantic new home (really?) for the first time only a week ago. One week. Nothing has a place, apart from our clothes. We still don’t know where we want things to go and we can’t make that decision anyway until we figure out what colour the walls should be. And you know what?! I don’t care. Surely we would like to change things a little bit and freshen it up but I’m most proud of us moving like champs. We worked together, did not kick each other in the shins and we realised the importance of good neighbours. As messy as the floors look right now, I feel very lucky.
I’m not sure if I understand this correctly, but I get the feelsies that home ownership is very important to Americans. It’s something that says “you’ve arrived and you’re all grown up so take a seat and pay these bills”. I choose to ignore these vibes. It’s a big deal but only because of the money we’ve put in (my parents helped us out a lot, something that rarely happens in America). One might assume we’re rich or we’ve been responsible enough to make this step that required so much from us financially. It’s none of the above. Quite simply, we just wanted to move. No we didn’t have more stuff. I do a great job of being a responsible consumer and a non-hoarder. We wanted to be able to decorate our walls and grill food over charcoal. We wanted space for the dogs to run and I couldn’t stop thinking of tiny vegetables growing up from the ground next spring. We grew up just a little to be able to take this step. But adulthood is a mystery. If I should hit 40 in 13 years (!!!) I would wonder about just one thing: Where all the time went.
On that note, I am welcoming myself to the reality that we have a house. It’s ours. It’s old. It needs love here and there and it’s open and ready for lots of people to come stay over! I want this to be a place of good memories and for me, that means family/friends. If you know me, consider this your invitation. I’ve been yearning for a way to sneak back into my blog with food that will always remind me of this summer of our lives. I think I found it today and I will save it for later in the week until I can find that silly camera cable which I swore I would stash away in a box labelled “camera stuff”. I promise I will look carefully. Again.
I must go now but I promise that there won’t be any more long breaks. Summer is almost over after all and I need to make at least 10 celebratory cakes and cake things. I’ll be here, settling down and getting right back up because houses are work…lots and lots of it.
Be right back.
Congrats on the new home!!! That’s wonderful. I am so very happy that we moved recently too, but really haven’t done anything celebratory and not had any guests…despite it feeling like the greatest place to have moved to.
Anyway, here’s to new memories and new phases in our lives, and finding our way. I’m also looking forward to the cakes…well, your pictures and recipes of cakes!
I know! I saw that you moved and I am so happy for you because I know you’ve had the shittiest of experiences living next to your neighbour.
I wish you all the luck with the newness in your life as well. It’s a lot to comprehend and I’m awaiting fall and winter to truly process all this. Thanks, Katherine!
Buying a house is a big deal in India too. Its what gets people my age have their panties up in a bunch, and messed in the head over buying the next big car and popping babies and trying to manage it all financially without going batty. So it *is* a big deal.. congratulations! Cant wait to see what you’ll grow, cook up and share here..
Hahahaha! I know that sequence of things very well and I choose to fully ignore it. A few months before we found this place I was desperately trying to convince husband person to buy “tiny house”. They exist here and I am in love with them. This house is a way to get out of renting. I didn’t want as much space as we have but I didn’t want to argue over the details. Thank you for your good wishes! This is an even bigger relationship tester than I thought!
Egads woman…welcome to being a homeowner and I will gladly take you up on that offer. Ill even come help break in the kitchen: )
Okay so when are you coming? Get that surgery done with!
Praerna Kartha says
Congratulations! Such lovely news. A whole new house and kitchen to set up and it’s all yours! Can’t wait to read the stories this new phase will inspire and all about the cake+cake things that shall be baked to celebrate!
Thank you thank you! It sounds strange but I can’t wait for summer to end so we can slow down again and enjoy this house rather than get anxious about doing ALL the outside fun things.
Praerna Kartha says
I think I may know what you mean about this “outdoor” pressure — that happens to us in Delhi, during the winter. Specially since we have a balcony that’s larger than what most of our friends have — it’s the perfect amount of space to hold a BBQ for 10! But during summer, it’s left to rot in the burning heat and needs a major facelift after 😛
Zarine Mohideen says
Congrats on being a “home owner”, like they say! I will be stepping in to that role soon too and I’m equal parts excited (to decorate) and mortified (at the money involved).
Good luck, Zarine! It is a lot of money and at the end of the loan period you end up paying a lot more (with interest and all). We just knew we didn’t want to live in an apartment and pay rent for nothing so we did it. I’m sure California is a lot more expensive so I send you all the good vibes that you find something you love.
many congrats to you, your man, and the dogs! homeownership is one of those things that make you feel all grown up and responsible i suppose. i see it more as an investment i guess – an investment in a family life, growing roots — and like you said, painting the walls and all that fun stuff! i wish you nothing but the best of things! and i’m totally looking forward to your first recipe made in your new kitchen 🙂
Thank you Lindsey! 🙂
I don’t know. I feel very ill-equipped for the grown-up role bestowed upon me. Maybe in a few years I will re-read my posts and laugh at myself. Right now I will be happy when I finally decide on paint colours. I thought I knew myself when it came to these things but each day it’s something different!
shanna mallon says
Oh, moving. So many emotions! We are closing on a house in two weeks, fingers crossed, and we were just sitting here talking about the things we need to do to it once we get the keys. The whole thing is a little overwhelming and I remind myself often that it is just a house, it is not a life goal, it is not an identity, it is just a house. I love that you get that. I also love that you wrote about it here because it resonates with me.