I often dream of houses--always have. Sometimes I wake up from a dream of living in a different house, or different space, with a feeling of calm; sometimes with a feeling of intense longing. I remember reading somewhere years ago that a house represents the self in a dream. For me, I think it has something to do with the possibility of different lives (that Gemini nature!).
I love our little house, which was designed and built for our family in the spirit of the most intense practicality--with a little bit of fancy thrown in. We have big, beautiful windows that let in a lot of light and views of trees. It is very energy efficient and airtight. We have an on-demand hot water heater, and radiant floor heat, though cooking in the kitchen pretty much heats the downstairs in the winter. And 950 square feet is plenty of room for a family of 4 who likes to hang out together, though I sometimes wish it was configured a little differently (one more bedroom, please!). It was also designed to be inexpensive to build, by then-designer, now-architect Minou--carefully measured so that there was no waste of time or materials. Our mortgage is on par with renting a student apartment in our area. Plus, I think I've mentioned how wonderful our neighborhood is, filled with family, good friends, and nice people.
All this to say, moving is not something we ever seriously think about (unless Minou is missing his homeland). However.
I have a thing for houses. Mostly sleek modern condos, old Craftsman bungalows, historic foursquares, or those that convey cozy family life. There is a house I have been eyeing for years in our neighborhood, right across the street from the local park, that attracted me because it was an older bungalow with a big front porch and yard overgrown in a mysterious and charming way. A bamboo forest visible in the fenced back yard. Big windows. High ceilinged rooms with dark wood trim visible. Well, a few days ago I spotted a "Coming soon for sale" sign in front of it. Since it looked uninhabited, I prowled around, peering in the windows and admiring the terra cotta walls and sunny little mudroom. Imagining the backyard garage turned into an architecture studio for Minou. I wanted that house. But somehow, I also wanted to rewind the clock and redo my children's preschool days in that house. I could imagine saying "Yes, you can go play at the park together 'til dinnertime--I'll watch you from the front window".
This obsession went so far that I took G2 by to look in the windows on the way home too, and even called the real estate agency to find out how much it was being sold for. Apparently, someone made a very good offer before it was even officially listed, so it's not going to go on the market. Which is just as well, because we could never have afforded to buy it. But maybe it's time for me to paint, or rearrange again, or something to make this, our own (sweet) living space different somehow. As much as I crave domesticity and putting down roots, I also am realizing that I enjoy some kinds of change. I'd like to spend a year living in a minimalist loft in a city, then a year in a rural farmhouse. Just to experience it.
What would your ideal living situation--or house--be like?