Dear Little Gray House,
I imagine you’ll have a name one day. We’ll affectionately call you by your moniker, saying, “Remember that time the kitchen of the _________ house flooded?” or “Remember that Christmas in the _________ house, when we forgot to turn the oven on?” Or something. I don’t really know.
My point is this: one day, you will be familiar.
As it stands, I can’t remember the precise shape of your bedrooms, so I’m having trouble deciding which furniture to drag halfway across the country.
I am nervous about tripping down the basement stairs, because I haven’t yet memorized the pitch of the steps or the feeling of the railing in my hand.
I don’t yet know which light switch belongs to which bulb, so I won’t be able to find my way in the dark.
All that will come eventually, I know.
In the meantime, there is so much I hope for you.
May your carpets be warm enough and your windows thick enough to shelter us poor Floridians from the Michigan winter.
May I stand on your porch and wave to a neighbor whose name and story are familiar to me.
May I reach into the mailbox and find Christmas cards and letters, return addresses from Tampa and Orlando and Grand Rapids and all over.
May we fill your bedrooms and hallways with the laughter of little ones.
May I look out the back window and watch my son running around, over green spring grass and crunchy fall leaves and icy winter snow.
May our couch and your floor and our beds be welcoming and inviting places for guests who have travelled a long way.
May we enjoy many a college football game and Downton Abbey episode in your living room.
May the bookshelves be overflowing, may the crock pot be warm, and may grace always be prayed aloud around the dinner table.
Can you do all that for me, little house?
Can you be a safe place for my family? Can you help me feel at home within your walls, ugly linoleum and all?