Tuesday, August 3, 2010

An Impartial Observer

Early this morning, we had a house appraisal as part of refinancing our house. As the appraiser checked out the various rooms, I wondered what my home looked like from his point of view, as an “impartial observer”. When he looked at our living room, with its grand piano and fireplace, he wasn’t picturing the dozens of romantic serenades and dinners we’ve had in that room. When he walked through the front hall, no doubt he noticed the oddly-patterned cracks in the tile, but he couldn’t have imagined the tale of the suicidal chandelier. Looking in the master bedroom, he might have admired the lovely rich carpet and painted walls, but he couldn’t hear the laughter of the newlyweds who took on the adventure of redecorating together. He peeked into the nursery, but couldn’t have known of the late night feedings, the endless hours of rocking a cranky baby to sleep, or the nightly ritual of parents gazing fondly at a sleeping child before going to bed themselves. Standing beside the pool, he couldn’t have imagined the laughter of party-goers, the quiet music of a moonlit dinner for two, or the happy squeals of a baby discovering water for the first time.

Our house is lovely and welcoming and well-appointed, there’s no doubt about that. But there’s so much more to it, so much more that makes it a home instead of just a house. The memories that have been made there are so much more important than the furnishings or the number of bathrooms or the floor plan. A kitchen is just a place to prepare food – but my kitchen is where Ryan tasted “real” food for the first time. A dining room is an elegant place for entertaining – but my dining room is where I first hosted a party for Herb’s family and my own. A living room is a comfortable spot to sit and read – but my living room is where Herb first serenaded me with “The Moonlight Sonata”. My home is special because of what’s happened there, not just because of what it looks like.

So no matter what dollar value the appraiser puts on the house, my home is priceless. Because it's my home.

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