Our neighbors are moving into a 750-square-foot apartment with their two kids, and Greg and I are jealous. Really.
Greg and I bought our house when I was 25. Greg had moved to Austin ahead of me to start work, and I had stayed in Illinois to deal with the packing and the closing for our house there. I moved to Austin two months later, and I joined Greg at an extended-stay motel along with our dog and cat.
I’ve never been the homemaker type, but living in that motel room, where a roach sometimes welcomed us home, in a city where I knew no one, made me desperate to settle down.
So we found a house. It wasn’t a perfect house, far too large for us actually, but we liked the floor plan and the big live oak tree in the backyard. We imagined our future lives, the two or three kids that we would have, our families visiting often to enjoy the warm weather. Our 5-bedroom home in the suburbs started to seem reasonable. We would never need to move again.
Seven years later, I sometimes feel as though this big house is strapped to my back, bearing down on me even when I’m in another place. Something is always messy or broken or in need of painting. And we are always losing Abe, accidentally locking him in one closet or another. I know that this is not a real problem — a too-big house — not in the grand scheme of things, but it weighs on me. Yes, I know that small houses get messy, too, but in a small house you don’t have to carry things through six other rooms to put them in their proper place.
And last week, when we went on vacation, we stayed in a smaller house that felt perfect.
Obviously the view helped. At night, we only had one or two rooms to clean, and when I wanted some quiet time, I sat on the porch instead of holing up in a different room.
And there are our neighbors, who are selling most of their stuff and moving to Boston for graduate school. After talking to them last night, Greg and I tossed around the idea of moving to a smaller place. How liberating to sell everything and go!
Is this just a silly dream? I can’t help but think that if we ever did move to a small place that we would miss this house. But maybe not with the right view…