Mr. J and I moved in together in March 2002, after dating for just over one year. We rented a smallish house at the east end of town, in a creepy Edward-Scissorhands sort of neighbourhood. We lived in a rental community of homes with only three floor-plans. The first couple times I drove home after moving in, I missed my turn and ended up lost among the look-alike houses, not sure which one was mine. The community feels rather temporary, a place young families live until they buy a home, or are waiting for something to be built. People don't make this community their long-term "home", but it was nice. Rather quiet, but somewhat new, so the trees weren't very big and everyone had the same empty lawns. Few flowers or personal touches existed anywhere, but also no garbage piled up next to houses, no cars on the lawn, and no broken things visible --this is a personal dislike of mine that only those who have seen my mother's yard will really appreciate.
We lived there for six years; we made a lot of plans in that house, did a lot of talking and arguing and loving there. We got our cats, Emma and Zoe, in that house, the first cats we got together. We took vacations together and planned our future, and watched movies and cuddled in the dark and put puzzles together there. We got married while we lived in that house, really got to know each other in that house.
I have spent so much of the last six months completely focused on leaving Vancouver, on being close to my job, on planning for the future, that I forgot my favourite lesson (the one I always forget): savour each moment in life. This is a recurring theme in my life, one that I strive so hard to remember, and one that kicks my ass every time I turn around. I spent a lot of time savouring my life in that house, but recently I failed to enjoy the library branch just a few blocks away, the quiet little park just to the north, the way the house smelled in the spring when I opened all the windows and our neighbours grilled yummy meats.
We went out to breakfast after everything was finished, to our favourite spot where the pancakes are heavenly and the staff is so polite, and we were talking about how often we have each moved in our lives. It occurred to me that I have never really attached to any house as my "home", as an effect of having moved house so many times as a child, except for the house we just left. The house itself was rather unremarkable, but we made it a home and I really did love it there. And I think I will miss it in a very small way.