A baby boomer’s haven … “Our House Is a Very, Very, Very Fine House”

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Unless you’ve moved around just about every year of your life, you’ve probably got a few things that feel like comfy old shoes. But a house? BoomerCafé contributor Liz Kitchens thinks so, as she writes in this essay which she calls, “Our House Is a Very, Very, Very Fine House.”

Liz Kitchens

My husband and I have been running recently like crazy people. Aside from work and family activities, which by themselves could drive you crazy, we have been moving our office into our home. I underestimated what a transition this would be. My husband confessed to some anxiety about the transition, since for the past 40 years he has arisen each morning, dressed, and headed to an office. Now, considering Jim is 63, it is apparent that “going to the office” has been the thing he has done more of in his life than literally anything else.

So while Jim and I are undergoing this transition in our lives, and we realize that Jim has been in the same routine for decades, a thought has popped into my head— and that thought is, So is my house! I have lived in the same house for 30 years this fall. I say this with a tad bit of chagrin as I fear being regarded as the “old lady” on my street, much as I viewed a few of my neighbors that way the day I moved onto Choctaw Trail. At the time, I was pregnant with my son, who is now in his final year of a Ph.D. program and engaged to be married.

Perhaps I’m feeling a bit nostalgic, even sentimental as I ponder my home and all it has housed in the last 30 years. It has…

  • Welcomed home a new baby
  • Cared for my dying mother
  • Welcomed my husband and his son, absorbing their belongings and all the emotions accompanying the blending of families
  • Endured the joys and tribulations of teenagers transitioning into adults
  • Transformed into a kind of commune during a sabbatical taken my grad student son, his fianceé, and Labradoodle

Liz’s home.

And now it is absorbing the relics of yet another transition (desks, awards, office supplies…) as we move toward working “virtually” in our new home offices. In the season of Thanksgiving, I’m realizing one of the things I feel grateful for is my home. My home, with its roof and its walls, has provided shelter and sanctuary to my family and me.

People often tell me my house looks like a folk art museum with all the color and funky art adorning its walls. But a quality I think I value the most is my home’s elasticity, as it has expanded and contracted, welcoming and saying farewell to the various stages of our lives.
 

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