Before we came to New Hampshire we lived on an island. It wasn’t a large island, and its rural feel reminded us of our time spent in New England. When we first thought of moving there I said that I would never live on an island that required a ferry to get to the mainland.
I had to eat those words for 13 years.
Despite the fact that hubby announced, upon leaving at the end of those 13 years, that he never liked the house, I loved it. It was old and crooked and needed a new kitchen, but I didn’t care. We had kids’ birthday parties on the lawn under the horse-chestnut tree, deer on the front porch, a pet rabbit that ate the sheetrock in the laundry room, and one December a friend spent the night on the sofa bed and the Christmas tree fell on him. All good stuff … the kind of things you tuck away into memory to savor now and then, maybe years later.
Even now I miss the garden we built, and the sound the front door made when you closed it, and the kids’ height marks on the kitchen wall.
The house we found in New Hampshire, we realized later, had some similarities to the island house: a white house on a hill, it was walking distance to the water. Both were located in a tiny town with one general store. Instead of hearing a foghorn in the distance, we could listen to the loons on the lake.
Children grow up. Friends fade away. But a house remains a home no matter where you wander.