Okay, I know that's a fake word. See, last year, on this date, an intrepid group of folks helped JG and me pack up our one-bedroom apartment and move into our new house: #716. After a quick rundown of my system (“Here’s the fragile room”, “This is stuff that can go on the bottom of piles”, etc.), they artfully packed up two pickups, two minivans, and several cars full of red Staples copy boxes and our paltry hand-me-down furniture. Due to our general lack of possessions, we started at 8am and finished in time to have lunch, which was provided by JG’s parents, bless them. I can’t look around this house without thinking about our friend who unloaded and sorted our many books; there’s also a very handy friend who changed our locks for us right after we pulled in the driveway. I am so grateful to have had that support when we were moving, and without those great people, that day would have been so very stressful. Instead, it was pretty fun and definitely memorable.
We never had a proper housewarming party because the first few months of home ownership were a blur of sorting through boxes and figuring out things like water and heat, so! Today, we tried to make up for it with a house-aversary party – an open house with lots of snacky foods, tours of rooms we’d painted, and stories of the past year.
Our fresh jack o’ lanterns welcomed our friends throughout the afternoon, and we enticed them into staying with mulled cider, taco dip, veggies, candy corn, and baked goods – chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and snickerdoodles, oh my! I gave a few tours of the house, making a point to emphasize the six (!) rooms that JG painted since April. Everyone murmured admiringly, especially regarding his cutting-in and taping expertise. Our friends’ young boys individually added to the entertainment value by thumping out a beat on JG’s klong yaw, discovering The Complete Calvin and Hobbes with a little hyperventilation, and wearing a Dalmatian costume for the entire time. My made-up holiday was such a great excuse to make a lot of food, invite friends over, and talk and laugh about the past year. Our friends couldn’t believe it had been that long already, and honestly, neither could I.
After the last guest had left, we’d blown out the candles in our pumpkins, and set the house back in order, I sat down on the couch with a leftover mug of mulled cider cupped in my hands. I sipped and reflected on how different the house looked in just twelve months, how automatic to me that the notion of home was equivalent to this little blue split-level in the middle of our street. It warmed me to know that people loved our house because I love it, too.
Happy House-aversary, #716!