My Dream House, Part Two

I can’t wait to turn forty.  My birthday present when I turn forty, God willing, will be a house, or at least the beginnings of one.  Click here to see the mobile manor that is my home until then.

I would have said “our” birthday present as my and Albert’s birthdays are only twelve days apart, but he’s not nearly as excited about the house as I am.  He often tells me that the only reasons to spend time indoors are to eat, sleep, go to the bathroom, shower and…other stuff you can’t do in public.  I have seen a smile and a faraway look come over his face when he talked about the home of his dreams, but it was in a loft built inside a workshop.  The head of a 15-point buck was mounted on the wall in front of the master bed whose coverlet was printed with Mossy Oak camouflage motif.  Only a rough wooden set of stairs separated him every night from rows upon rows of shiny torque wrenches, socket sets and power tools below…

There is an advantage to his indifference toward a (normal) house though.  Our tastes and styles differ completely when it comes to…well, almost everything.  If we had to compromise on building style, our house might look very strange.  As it is, he’s letting me design whatever sort of house my heart desires – that is, whatever sort of house will fit into about 1700 square feet and a modest budget.  He has only one requirement as to the way the house looks: I am not allowed to install lighting that’s designed to light up the exterior walls of the house after dark.  He lumps folks who do that with people who park expensive cars diagonally across two spaces lest they escape notice among all the minivans and four-door sedans lined up at the shopping mall.

I have no trouble with these conditions because they don’t prevent me from designing a sweet little Gothic Revival style house with two stories, arched windows and white gingerbread trim lining well-defined peaks and gables.  I’ve pulled some house photos from the Internet with features that influence my house plans.  You must try to imagine these houses the way they would have looked when they were new – I’m finding it impossible to find new-house pictures in this style, at least, ones that I’m allowed to post.


The two photos below are my own.  This abandoned Gothic Revival house stands about four kilometres  down the road from the farm where I grew up.  This house fascinated me when I was little and it still does.  Years of decay and neglect can’t hide its stately beauty, it’s just a softer, more melancholy beauty than what it once had.

It is exactly the sort of house that Jane Eyre would have built for herself from her five thousand pounds if Mr. Rochester’s lunatic wife had not gone paragliding without a chute from the battlements of Thornfield Hall and left him free to marry Jane.  Speaking of which, my house must have a window seat somewhere within.  Ever since I read about Jane’s hiding place from her nasty cousin John at Gateshead I’ve dreamt of curling up with a book and a sleepy cat in a seat nestled between a window and long drapes which separate the cozy nook from the rest of the house.

Albert grumbles that a two-story house is impractical but I have it on good authority that it is not – economically at least.  My cousin Willy is a modern-day Noah: he’s a preacher and a builder and performs both offices exceedingly well.  He says that it’s cheaper to build two stories than one because the most expensive part of the house is the foundation and basement.  In other words, if you divide your living space between two stories, your foundation need only be half the size as that of a single-story house.  I shall never underrate my head for good business sense again.

It will be a long two years, eleven months and seven days until my fortieth birthday.  I can’t see what the future holds; maybe my dream of a house will never even be realized.  “The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.”  But the sweetest part of dreams is the dreaming itself, the laying of bricks and the fashioning of peaks and windows in my mind.  Those things I can enjoy already, here, in this moment.




2 responses to this post.

  1. You can design my house too!! I may have to wait a little longer though, but your dream home sounds ideal!


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