Sunday, April 12, 2009

the house playlist

When Easter rolls around each year, I always think about our house. It was sitting at Easter dinner in April 2006 that Countrymouse and I each had one of those light bulb moments. My clan's old family home had sat vacant for about a year; my parents had down-sized and really just wanted to close that chapter of their lives. My father made a statement that basically said they weren't looking to get rich with the sale of the house and threw an amount out. While neither of us said anything at that moment, we both thought, "Yeah, we can do that". Six months and all of our savings later, we were the proud owners of a 103 year old Victorian in The Green Garden County of Maryland's Eastern Shore.


I'll light the fire
You put the flowers in the vase
That you bought today

Countrymouse had always liked the house. He had known the house for 25 years at this point and was quite familiar with it's high and low points, along with it's many renovations. When we were dating and eager to start our lives together, we would play "What If". You know, "What if we owned this house...", "What if we converted the attic into an apartment for us...", etc. He had spent time over the years cataloging the things he wanted to do with the house just as a pleasant mental exercise.

Staring at the fire
For hours and hours
While I listen to you
Play your love songs
All night long for me
Only for me

I have to admit that while I did have the same initial thought as Countrymouse, it took a good bit of deliberation for me to come around. It wasn't my parents or the house's fault; the house represented everything I wanted to distance myself from... an unwanted move to Maryland from NYC, an awkward teenager-hood, a mediocre high school experience, a sleepy, backwater existence with little cultural or social outlets... Why did I think that almost 30 years later I wanted to *own* this house?


Come to me now
And rest your head for just five minutes

Everything is good

Perhaps because almost 30 years later I wasn't the same young girl who had moved into the house with her family so long ago. I was now a woman who had been married more than half her life with 5 pups of her own. I knew the love the walls of this house would hold for my family, the memories it already held for them. My life in this house had hardly been the stuff of Anne of Green Gables and there were certainly memories I'd just as soon forget, but this house was part of me. This is the house I brought Countrymouse home to when he met my parents and where I dressed for our wedding. When I was away in college and when I was a new mom living far from my family, this was the house I always knew I could return to, no questions asked, and always be *home*.
Such a cosy room
The windows are illuminated
By the evening sunshine through them
Fiery gems for you

Only for you

It was odd when my parents moved out and we knew at some point there would be strangers living here. Like the end of a story you weren't ready for. I don't want to paint an image of me locked away somewhere lamenting; it wasn't like that. All of us siblings took it in stride... we're a resilient bunch... but it was an peculiar thought.


Our house is a very, very fine house
With two cats in the yard

Life used to be so hard

Now everything is easy

'Cause of you

And our la,la,la, la,la, la, la, la, la, la, la.....


It took me about two weeks to get fully persuaded about buying the house. Countrymouse left the final decision up to me, though his desire was crystal clear. I did have some reservations, not so much about the house as moving away from the hub of our lives. When I considered everything, the blessings outweighed any drawbacks. The rest is history.


Our house is a very, very fine house
With two cats in the yard
Life used to be so hard
Now everything is easy
'Cause of you
And Our

We've spent the past three years making this house our house. We've torn down walls and cut down trees. (It hasn't always been easy for my parents to watch our changes, but I think they ultimately like what we've done.) There is something cool about being the third owners of a house this old. The funkiness of this old house is the perfect canvas for all my whims. It's been a good three years.



I'll light the fire
And you place the flowers in the jar
That you bought today

In celebration of another anniversary here, I share with you a play list of House Songs. No certain order, just stuff I like. Burn the play list and listen to it this spring in celebration of your own house as you shake off the weary shadows of winter.


  • CSNY: Our House
  • Basement Jaxx: Take Me Back to Your House
  • Blur: Country House
  • Madness: Our House
  • Animals: House of the Rising Sun
  • Dionne Warwick: A House is Not a Home
  • The Commodores: Brick House
  • Led Zeppelin: House of the Holies
  • Radiohead: Life in a Glass House
  • John Mellencamp: Pink Houses
  • Talking Heads: Burning Down the House
  • Paul Simon: Homeward Bound
  • Woody Guthrie: Ain't Got No Home
  • Blind Faith: Can't Find My Way Home
  • Tom Waits: House Where Nobody Lives
  • Vanessa Carlton: White Houses
  • Rosemary Clooney: Come On-a My House
  • Whiskeytown: Houses on the Hill
  • Lyle Lovett: Step Inside This House
  • Field Music: A House is Not a Home
  • LCD Soundsystem: Daft Punk is Playing at My House
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees: Happy House
  • The dBs: Spy in the House of Love
  • House of Pain: Jump Around (not really a *house* song, but too good to leave off)



3 comments:

  1. hey! i just realized that the house used to have three windows upstairs. i can't even imagine how that would look. where would the middle window even go?

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  2. Grandpa took it out. It would be where Thomas and Matt's closet is now. It had something to do with the "new" chimney that connects with the living room wood stove. I wish it was still there, along with the porch rails and the vestibule. Oh well...

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  3. yeah, i guess i wish it was still there too. i feel like it balances it out, even though three isn't an even number. oh well. that house is a very sweet house though. i remember looking for "secret" things when i was younger. my very favorite spot in that house (besides the obvious insane attic full of stuff that used to be there) is the little nook area in the dining room with the "chest" like area in the window. i thought that was such a cool thing.

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