Weathered space

I am longing for someplace old. For weathered planks to run hands over, to feel history and age. To live with a sense of time.

Our rental complex is new. Only a few months old when we moved in. White walls, white cabinets, white white white. I thought we’d have an eerie feeling here, as the grounds which were built upon hold dark stories of a different time, not so long ago. There’s a cemetery on the grounds, one old building remains, and weepy trees line the windy road up our hill.

But the walls are white. The past covered for a fresh start. Wiped away for a clean slate.

I don’t feel like we belong here. It’s too new. Too clean {though not my kitchen floors…} too cookie cutter.

Character is what it’s missing. Laugh lines and wrinkles and sun spots.

And it’s not our place to make it weathered and humble. Home. It’s our home, temporarily. Two years as of next month. Hopefully just one year more, and then we can find our place. The one that will speak to us, open its {probably} squeaky doors and ask for us to oil it and make it ours. We’ll embrace and incorporate its past into our daily lives.

The walls will not be white. They will tell stories, and the floors will creek as we make our new paths worn in the middle of the night for tucking in and snuggles, making the monsters disappear. The new imperfections that we bring with us will twist and bend with the old… and they will be the tiny details that we remember best. The crack in a cabinet door. The drafty corner in the sitting room, where extra quilts lay waiting to be used. The pencil marks that stop time for a moment in the lives of growing children.

Our messy lives will not stick out like a brightly colored mitten left haphazardly in the snow.

We will breathe new life into our home, and it will breathe it’s old soul freely into ours. And we will tend to it’s needs, as it provides us warmth and comfort. We will be home in an old rustic space. One day. We will be home.



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23 responses to “Weathered space

  1. We did old, and then we did brand new. In the new, we got to make our own mistakes. In the old, we had to deal with someone else’s mistakes but there was a connectedness because of that. And our next-door neighbor treated us like his children and helped fix stuff that went wrong. Something to be said for the old (and the weathered). Great post.

  2. Makes me think of that song by Ingrid Michaelson “Are we there yet?”. I know what you mean–wanting character, wanting something that’s “you”, that feels like home. You’ll find it, too. You’re wise to be patient. It’s hard to wait. But you’ll find it. And you’ll wake up one day and realize you’re finally home.

  3. I am so familiar with these feelings. When we moved to our current town, we had a choice between old, broken-down, and full of character or new and charmless. Given that I was six months pregnant and on bed rest at the time, we went with the second choice. As much as I’ve appreciated the hassle-free living of our “white white white” space, I long for hardwood floors and built-in details. Maybe for our next move?

  4. We’ve always rented, as well. My credit is horrendous, unfortunately, so it looks like we’ll be renting for awhile still. Right now, we have wood paneling. Which is nice, in a way, because it’s what I grew up with. But at least the place before this I could paint. However, I’m more interested in finding someplace stable. Permanent.

    • Nicki

      C – I am with you in both the credit area and the wood paneling. I never understood wood paneling in most of a house. I have been here over ten years now, though, and have grown to like it more.

  5. I would not do well with white walls at all. Making a house a home is what it’s all about. In the meantime, a year is not too long to wait and you can get lots of yummy decorating ideas while you’re waiting. : )

  6. I understand this. I hated renting for the sheer fact I couldn’t make it mine. When Hubby and I bought our house, we bought an old house. One with character and stories and windows that stick and floors that creak. It is so ours now. Good luck finding yours…

  7. How beautifully written. Perfectly said. After 11 years of living in NYC apartments that had inches of coats of WHITE paint in an effort to erase any sense of “life” from the previous renters, I am happy in our well loved, very lived in feel of our current home. Charm was on my short list of what I HAD to have in looking for “home”. Big rooms – not important. Top of the line kitchen and bathrooms. Not AS important. Charm. It makes a home feel like home and soon you will find the perfect place. For now, your family and your stories bring more than enough charm!

  8. I was so eager to move from our apartment 3 years ago to a space I could make my own. Since neither the husband nor I knew anything about fixing up houses, we opted for the brand new cookie cutter house, on the cookie cutter streets in the ‘burbs. It’s been a slow process adding some character and color to this house, and we’re still barely started. Sometimes I do wish for a house with more built-in character, and the mess and clutter isn’t quite what I have in mind!

    Just one more year in the apartment? Hang in there! Maybe you should start creating a dream file of things you love in/for a house, if you haven’t already. You’ll be house hunting before you know it!

  9. oh Im longing for my little country cottage with roses round the door & an arga to cook on, I think we are a few years off yet, good luck with your house hunting x

  10. Nicki

    I do dream of moving from where I am – both the location and the home. I will do it in my future but not until all of my kids are done with high school.

  11. Oh, those in-between times.
    Your words ignite my Homesickness.

  12. Corinne! I live in that weathered place, OLD. But not in a cutesy, adorable kinda way, the way yours will be.

    Speaking of drafts, you betcha, got those too. Literally, funny you mentioned it, Hubby is currently filling a (not hole) a wall, where we can see straight thru to outside. After all the little & not so little fixer-uppers, it does grow on a body. Living in this weathered place. But that’s what makes its charm, sort of. (:

    I’ll be waiting right here when you get it. Can’t wait!

    Tammy@If Meadows Speak….

  13. Ps. Yours will be much better than mine! Mine’s been neglected like the farm it sits on. When you get yours, we can swap drafty stories!

  14. I will be so excited to hear what you do with color, artwork, objects of art when you finally have a place you can leave your mark on.

  15. Beautiful.

    I live in the old. 1932 tiny Tudor. I love it. It’s small, but I love it.

  16. this post completely resonates with me. We built our home about 6 years ago, but I long for an old home with tons of character that feels cozy and worn.

    If this darn economy was better, this house would be on the market tomorrow!

  17. This was a beautiful glimpse into you , Corinne.
    Our home was new, while I love the character of old, I needed a clean slate to my whole life.
    The walls have voice and tears and love in the paint now, and the wood floors are scratched and dented in just the right our places. The garden is maturing, as are we, and the house took as long as me to come home , I suppose.
    If we moved again when the kids “leave”, I could tackle the work of old. Maybe. 🙂

  18. I’m with Deb on this, Corrine…tabula rosa! Blank slate. Even if it is the in-between, it will become yours. Memories of those walls will become part of you. I feel your longing in these words. And I wonder–will we always? Long for more beauty no matter where we are?

    I think I will.

    A beautiful post.

  19. What beauty and longing in this post, Corinne. I am so drawn to it. Your words are just lovely. We live in a 150 year old Victorian, which had at one time been used as a hospice. We’ve been here for a few years, and feel so at home. Other than the smoke detectors going off every so often at 1:00 am, we love it. It is such a part of us that I cannot imagine living anywhere else.

  20. I know we’ve talked about this before, but I so relate to what you’re expressing here. I’m longing for a place that doesn’t feel as though I’m living inside of a white box, a place that has history, personality, and quirks. I feel as though we’re in this holding pattern, stuck in limbo in this blank apartment that’s our home for now, but not quite home.

    I’m homesick for a house that’s truly ours — slanted floors, creaky doors, drafty windows and all. I dream of a little farmhouse with a porch and a mudroom, a sprawling cottage garden and slightly weedy vegetable patch out back, and an oversized dog with muddy paws the size of dinner plates wrecking devistation through it all!

  21. I like new that looks old. Well, frankly because I like new pipes and roofs and foundations and so forth 😉 But I like the character of old.

    This is beautifully written, Corrine.

    Your Friend,
    Nell Taliercio

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