Last week, we moved out of our house, and, yesterday, we closed on the sale. Before everything was complete, we went back into the house to make sure we did not leave anything and to make sure that all was good for the new owners. I took that opportunity to take a picture of the living room.
At least, it became the living room after we got married. Before that, life in the house was a lot different. The living room was a place to walk through. For most of its existence, the house would not have been considered a home. I would call it a dwelling.
I bought the lot with money that I inherited from my dad’s uncle. I remember that someone else was looking at that parcel. I cannot blame them because I thought it was the best lot in the neighborhood. Luckily, I had an inside track. My brother was developing the neighborhood. He also built the house.
The construction process was tense but not for the reasons that you might imagine. I had been dating someone for quite a while, and she thought, rightfully, that this house meant that we would finally get married. I am sure that it was my fault she thought that. However, I was not ready for that and saw no reason for this house to change things.
Anyway, the building process was a struggle. As it progressed, I felt more and more like I was building a prison. I knew that when it was complete something had to give. What I did not know was that everything would hinge on the shutters.
My girlfriend hated shutters, and I had them put on the house. When she saw them, something snapped inside her mind. We dated for a while longer, but, looking back, I think the shutters were the breaking point. For her, they were the sign that she would never live in that house.
When I moved in, there was no grass, and I did a terrible job taking care of the seeds. That is why the grass never looked all that great. There was also an empty neighborhood because mine was one of the first houses to be finished. For a long time, I lived in a construction zone, and my tires were always going flat with nails.
One of my strongest memories of those early days involves a tragedy. I heard a strange noise outside and walked out of the front door to find that Life Flight had landed in the street. A house was being built, and the man delivering bricks had a stack of bricks fall on him. Life Flight took him to the hospital, but he did not make it. For years, I thought about him whenever I looked at the house across the street.
Being a bachelor, the house did not look like a normal house. In fact, it looked quite like the above picture. There was no furniture in most of the rooms. There was a bed. There was a kitchen table. There was a television. There was no food in the refrigerator.
Not having dining room furniture led to an injury. I left something in the bonus room, which was my favorite room because it brought to mind my apartment, and decided to run upstairs to get it. I ran through the dining room and forgot that there was a low-hanging chandelier. My head hit it, and I was knocked out. I still do not know how long I was on the floor.
After a while, I got furniture and filling the dining room was at the top of my list.
The rest of the years are a blur. There were good times. There were bad times. There were neighbors that I really did not know. I was the weird guy who lived alone and was hardly ever home. I did not like being there and spent a lot of time running the streets of Nashville. Looking back, I think that my dislike of being in the house started with early feeling of building a personal prison.
I could write about the time when the kid next door set the woods behind the house on fire. However, I would rather get to the good stuff.
Three years ago, we got married, and the house became a home. Instead of it being me doing everything I could do not to be there, it was me, my wife, my stepdaughter and our dog. I had a family. I got to know the neighbors. I was no longer the weird guy who lived alone and was hardly ever home.
Now, I am the guy who does not live there. We have moved into the house where I grew up while we build a new house. Actually, we are building a new home.
I inhabited that house for 16 years. However, this is the end of looking back. I hope the new owners make it a great home. As for us, I know we will have a great home.