The first house that I remember living in was a house that my folks built.
It was in a town called Litchfield, Pennsylvania. On a hill, it was a three-bedroom house that sat perched on a hill, framed on two sides by woods, a HUGE garden, and a windy, twisty country road at the base. There were motocross racers and deer, wells and mushrooms that were so big I could sit on them in the woods. Surrounded by deer and flowers and magic.

The next house had been a bank building and a stop on the underground railroad. (It was slightly smaller and less cool than my friend's house, which had a whole secret attic that you could only access through a cupboard in the back bathroom: but it was still pretty cool.) I went to summer camp in sixth grade, and begged for a purple room: upon returning, the lavender shade I had wanted was not in sight, but my walls were covered in a powerful aubergine, eggplant-y, GODDAMIT I AM PURPLE color. From this house I could walk to the library with it's big stone columns, and visit the museum on the top floor. Indian headdresses, arrowheads, pictures and illustrations from French Asylum, the massacre at Horseheads, NY, tributes to Stephen Foster... the list goes on. Again, magical.

After that, the yellow Victorian that came with all the furniture and reader's digest condensed books and the dead lady's ashes spread over the yard. The former servant house with the bad addition. (My mom still swears that she's going to hell, and that she'll be pulling out the nails that the previous homeowner drove in for all eternity.) The big house on the corner lot that needed to be jacked up from the basement, and that had lines painted down the center of the floors from a pair enduring a nasty divorce. The college apartments. My first solo flat in Pittsburgh that was solo not long enough. The duplex across from the school for the deaf, where the quiet afternoons were cut through with bloodcurdling screams from kids who couldn't hear the difference between a squeal of joy and the sound of terror. The Shadyside apartment that was in the middle of everything, where I could leave my car in the driveway for days and walk to wherever I needed to go.

After that, the move to Maryland. The tiny, one-bedroom flat in Chevy Chase where hubby and I lived pre-hubby-ness. And finally, our little townhouse that we bought eight - count them, eight - days before we wed that's perched within walking distance to the Potomac River.

Getting the itch again, but where to? Requisites: character [but not necessarily practicality], proximity to work, good walking nearby. We've been looking for over a year, and nothing's really appealing to us. Well, nothing that we can afford in these parts. Time for either re-setting the mind-set or re-setting the location, I guess. Stay tuned.


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