You Can Go Home Again

Posted on May 3, 2021


A close friend of Life in the Boomer Lane came back to the DC area to celebrate her birthday with her daughter. Her daughter asked her how she wanted to celebrate and she said she wanted to do a driving tour of all of the different places she had lived in the area. The journey turned out to be far more than a trip down Memory Lane.

LBL’s friend may have started with the idea of simply driving by houses. But, by her very nature, drive bys have never been her notion of how life is lived. She’s more the learn-to-swim-by-jumping-into-the-deep-end-of-the-pool type. And Life has rewarded her by (mostly) allowing her to survive that approach.

We all have our own notions of what “home” means and we all have different ideas about what our homes should do for us. If LBL has gotten one overriding message about her friend’s notion of home, it would be that, with only one exception, these homes have been unique.

She began with her glorious turn-of-the-century rowhouse in what was then an increasingly-eclectic urban neighborhood. Gentrification, rapidly gobbling up all of DC, has not spared this area. The residents that she knew and the AIDS House, have been replaced with trendy urbanites and the nannies that are attached to them. Her house was the only one on the block that had not been gentrified. LBL would like to think that the house waited for her to visit before allowing it to become the showpiece that the others had become.

Her next house was a tiny log cabin, set well below the road, on a huge parcel of land by a creek. It’s impossible to believe that this house and land existed in a bustling urban area, but it did and she found it. The house is gone now, replaced by something new and visually confusing. She had no choice but to wind her way down the steep drive and start exploring the property.

The owner didn’t appreciate the invasion. He became hostile. It would take too long to go through the events that transpired. LBL will simply say that, what seemed to be a flagrant disregard for the beloved log cabin was something else entirely. And what began as a confrontation, turned into a profound connection. The spirit, the essence, and the deep appreciation for the log cabin had been faithfully retained by the current owners. It was simply hiding inside the exterior walls of the new home.

There were other sights along the way on her house tour. The only house that LBL’s friend skipped was one she deemed too ordinary to re-visit. LBL reminded her that the “ordinary” house was where she celebrated her 60th birthday, sweeping down the staircase to greet her guests, dressed in a pink peignoir, a la Loretta Young. She laughed when LBL reminded her of that event. Even “ordinary” homes deserve out-of-the-ordinary memories.

LBL’s friend went home after her tour, to her tiny house community in the mountains of North Carolina, not far from Asheville. It is her latest chapter in Life in Unique Settings. LBL has no doubt that, whatever she lives in, will make a statement. And if it doesn’t, she, herself, will make the statement it needs.

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