I’m blogging every day of November, with each day being a post about a thing for which I am grateful. – HH

On the sixth day, I’m grateful for our home.

I don’t take it for granted. I spent more than a decade working among and with folks that had lost theirs, and it still, after all these years, feels fragile, like a thing that could slip away if you turned your back on it for a minute.

It sometimes feels ridiculous, this house of ours. After all, we are just two folks, who bought this house – with two bathrooms and three bedrooms and a living room AND a den and an eat-in kitchen AND a dining room. And a half an acre of land and a carport… compared to our last 1,000 square foot house with the tiny bathroom, it felt like a mansion at more than twice the size of the old house. Sometimes, it still does. I lose Renee in it regularly.

It helped that house prices in Raleigh were beginning to climb, although nothing like they did after we left. And prices here in Jackson had been stagnant for years, meaning we were able to buy the huge house here in the nice neighborhood for $20,000 less than the tiny house there in the, uhhhm, transitioning neighborhood.

The house in Raleigh had a leaky roof and uninsulated walls and on hot days the AC would struggle to get the inside of the house under 80. But we lived there five years, Renee recovered from her heart transplant there, we were able to provide a safe place for our niece when she needed a place to live for six months or so, and we tried hard to leave the neighborhood better than we found it.

This house, the one in Jackson, was a Methodist parsonage for 70 years before we bought it, meaning it was well cared for, but well cared for by a committee. Nobody loved it, in other words. But we love it. We love the long hallway, with hardwood floors, that reminds me of the neighbor’s hallway when I was growing up, that I would run and slide on in socked feet. We love the huge dining room, with the table for ten that was always crowded before the pandemic curtailed that. We love the deck we built last year as a COVID project, the fireplace in the living room, the hot pink bathroom in the hallway and the hardwood floors throughout. But mostly, we love that it is ours.