The house was barren, stripped of all furniture except a small table lamp that illuminated the living room. It was December when my husband and I walked through the antiquated home for the first time, thin orange carpet, loosely laid, gathering and folding with many of our steps. The place would need a lot of work, and we weren’t actually considering purchasing—not seriously, at least. But a month later, it was a done deal. The day after we closed on the house, we began the work of gutting out that orange carpet, painting the dulled walls, and transforming the place into the vision we had for it.
When we first saw it, that home off Main Street in our little town felt empty, devoid of human spirit and personality. Sure, the remnants of homemade curtains still hung on certain windows. And wallpaper hinted at the taste of the daughters who had selected it. But those people were all gone now, or at least had moved on to another place. After purchasing the house, it was our joy to spend time making it a home once again.