After living in one apartment and six homes in my lifetime. I have come to a couple conclusions. The first conclusion is that houses always smell their best when a loaf of banana bread is in the oven. The second is that country music should always be playing on the Amazon Alexa in the kitchen. The third is that cosmetic damages are beautiful.
There is a 12-inch-wide patched up hole in the wall by the front door. It’s ugly, a visual disaster. But I love it nonetheless. I love it because when I see it I am instantly taken back to the time my step dad insisted on getting a 15-foot-tall Christmas tree, and the next morning waking up to our tree lying horizontal with the top punctured through the wall because the tree was too tall for it’s stand. There is a sharpie drawing of a 45 mph road sign on the bottom of our billiards table. What once frustrated my parents is now something we look at and laugh. My little brother is on the autism spectrum, and his special interest is road signs. He doesn’t live with us anymore, but when we see that drawing, it feels like he’s right back here with us. The white paint on my bedroom walls has chipped in some places, revealing the neon green paint that hides underneath, and with that, memories of a simpler time. A time when my biggest academic concern was getting an A on my fifth grade science fair project, and lime green seemed like the best interior design decision I could ever make. The ceiling above our dining room leaks when the bathtub upstairs gets too full. To my parents and I, it’s a whole lot of water damage and repair bills. But to my four-year-old brother, Max, it’s “raining inside!” Now when the ceiling leaks I hear Max giggling about the “inside rain”. This helps lighten a stressful situation. I have come to appreciate “inside rain”.
The reality of it is, every single scrape, bump, chip, dent, and ding in my house makes me happy. These make things familiar for me. What may look ugly to guests, is beautiful and comforting to me. It’s the speed limit sign and the “inside rain” that transforms a couple walls and a roof into a home for me and my family.