The other day I was outside with the kids and the Mail Woman came around back and stopped to chat. We’ve only lived here for a few months and we hadn’t yet met. She smiled and said hello and then
Are you related to the woman who lived here before?
We aren’t and I said as much. She looked around at my 5 kids outside doing various things and she smiled. She looked back and said with a deeply gentle and almost sad voice,
Well, she would sure be happy that this house is full of all these kids.
We shared a few other words and she went on her way.
This is the first, and likely the last, home we will ever own. We waited 10 years to buy a home and have lived in a couple different towns and cities before landing here. It isn’t my dream location but there are so many great things, including family, here. Yet to be honest, it took me years to want to settle in and call this place “home” and when we did decide to buy this house, I wasn’t always and haven’t always been excited about it.
But the Mail Woman’s comment made me stop in my tracks. It wasn’t as much what she said as how she said it. The woman that lived here before us valued children. And family. And even her mail woman knew it.
The woman who came before us was married and had a handful of children. They moved in when her oldest child was 6 years old and now he is grown with grown children of his own. She lived here for 43 years.
It’s a beautiful historic home, very common in our town. Yet it doesn’t seem as if it was the home itself that she loved. What kept her here all those years was what filled it. The laughter, the joy, the kids.
She kept this home so well. For being over 100 years old it is in impeccable shape. It still has original wood floors, wooden pocket doors that work and original cabinets and woodwork through out. Mrs. Blanford may have loved it here, but she obviously kept this home for the people she loved most.
Her children had to sell this home because she passed away. Yet, her love for them never did. Her heart, her values, live on in her kids, and now in mine.
I’m not much of a housekeeper, I would rather play outside with the kids or spend hours dreaming about my work, but that one comment from the Mail Woman has given me a new love for this space.
As Mrs. Blanford kept this home for her family and now mine, I will keep this home for my family and the next.
As it has been said before…my favorite thing about my home is who I share it with. For my kids and the many that may come after.