In some ways, I barely recognize the house I lived in when I was 12.
Instead of the simple four walls in a neat box, dormers launch off its roof and angles fetter its corners. It’s shingles are a darker tone. A deck adds an element of luxury I never experienced as a resident.
In others, nothing has changed.
A piece of scrap carpet still softens the cement floor in the living room. The bathroom still has a wood floor and a tub trimmed in exposed sheet rock. Its kitchen still lacks doors on its cabinets. There are always mud footprints across the kitchen floor and a stack of ruffled papers on a desk.
This house will probably always be a work in progress — a masterpiece not yet mastered. That is the fate of many a home of a contractor.
When I was young, it was an adventure. We helped pound nails and oil siding. We got dressed near the fireplace because its heat didn’t reach the back rooms. We were excited at every new development.
When I was a teenager, it was an annoyance. I just wanted lush carpet to sprawl out on and working facets and a house that was like everyone else’s. With six people and only three rooms, it was noisy and messy and full.
Now, it is a refuge. It is refreshing stepping back to this home. In all the upset of it’s constantly morphing state, its walls provide a slice peace. Life is simpler here, without cell phone reception and no TV as a centerpiece to its living room. It is tucked in the trees off a Montana dirt road. It is set on a hill over a lake. It is always green here, always lush. The air is clean and the night is so still, sometimes I can’t sleep without noise to fill the vacuum.
And tonight, as I listen to the rain on the roof of the newest room added to this house, it still feels like home.