House Requirements


I think about our future home a lot.  I don’t exaggerate when I say that I think of it in some way every hour of every day (not that I’ve actually kept track of that).  I’ve told you again and again how it is my one true dream to have our dream house, and as the months slowly tick by, I keep waiting for the perfect one to go for sale in my hometown.  One with a bit of acreage, plenty of room to grow into, and close enough to the city that we don’t have to drive far to get to our loved ones and work.  Aside from the other long list of what I’m hoping our future home has (I blame my architecture school background for me being so picky!), I have created another mental list lately to help me stay on track as I look at real estate listings.  And I can assure you, it’s not the sort of list you’d expect.

I am driven by nostalgia.  No surprise there.  So when I realized this list was forming in my head on its own, I couldn’t help but feel it was worth noting.  A number of family possessions have made quite an impact of what I consider to be home-y (including one thing I desperately wish we owned), and if you oblige me, I’ll tell you about them.

1.  I have this memory of a Halloween when I was pre-school age.  I’d like to say it is crystal clear, but I’m sure that my imagination has lovingly warped it a little.  My aunts came to town from Chicago, and that in and of itself felt magical back then.  Together with T, Barb, my sister and my mom, I trick-or-treated our neighborhood (as the Little Mermaid, though it was so cold that year I had to sport a sweatshirt under my seashells!).  Upon returning to my house, we camped out in the living room with blankets layered on the floor, a spooky movie on the TV, and my favorite Frankenstein lantern plugged in atop the mantel.  And it’s this lantern and the strange shadows it cast on the walls that reminds me of what kind of home I want our future house to be.  One that was made for fall and Halloween.  One with a special place on the porch for carved pumpkins and lots of nooks and ledges inside.  One that is ultimately cozy and moody and the perfect floor for napping.

2.  I have already shared with you my beloved train set and how I eventually will get to take it for my family home.  That train set is another item on my list for similar reasons as number one.  But, there’s more.  It is oh so necessary for me to walk into a house and see where I’m going to set up our future Christmas tree, with enough room around the base for presents and my train.  A family room that is warm in the winter with a brick hearth for Santa to come down on Christmas Eve.  And eventually my needlepoint stockings will fit right in, as well.

3.  Sometimes I get hair-brained ideas at the most random times.  My most recent was about the clock that hangs in our basement.  It sports my alma mater (as is my sister’s and father’s), and I decided I wanted one exactly like it.  I wanted one to hang in my future wood paneled den.  But when I couldn’t find it anywhere on the college gift shop website (granted it was probably from the 90s), I asked my mom about it.  Turns out, my dad made it!  I never knew.  That clock reminds me not everything has to be shiny or stately.  Things can be wonderful even if they are aged or dated or not so trendy.  I love that darn clock, and all its cheesy college pride glory!  Honestly I am considering making an exact replica of it once I’m back, wooden frame and all!

4.  I don’t drive my dream car.  Either of them.  But I think a lot about what kind of house would pair well with them in case I ever get lucky and buy one.  The first is a small sleek convertible with 50s curves.  The second is a wagoneer with wood side panels, which is even more unlikely than the first since Ethan doesn’t share my affinity for them!  Even so, when I look at a property I ask myself, “Would my woody wagoneer look right here?”  You wouldn’t believe how helpful that question has been in my hunt. (Side note: I just rewatched The Father of the Bride and guess what Mr. George Banks drives.  And then guess what Mrs. Nina Banks drives! So unfair for them to torture me not only with the perfect house, but with my two favorite vehicles as well.)

So there you have it… the quirky little list of things I keep in mind while I’m house hunting.

What does your list include?



  1. Mary Ellen · · Reply

    I am ready to help you look!!!!

  2. […] Lastly, and oddly enough, it fulfills my quirky house requirement list. […]

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