Having a house that we own has made me keenly aware of all of it's little imperfections. We're not DIYers, Husband and I, so when we were looking at houses we were very careful to pick one that did not need a lot of work. We didn't by new, however, because I am of the strong opinion that houses just aren't made like they used to be. I like solid walls and exteriors with a little character. I like original hardwood floors.
Our house is fifty years old - not too old and not too new. It has most definitely been updated at least once (obviously in the kitchen area) and has been painted countless times. It has weird wall cubbies and odd, handmade built-ins. It has a fairly ugly bar in the basement that was mostly likely superneat in the 80's. It has fifty years of imperfections.
When I was painting the guest room I noticed that the trim isn't flush with the floor. You can see, if you look closely, that the walls were once grass green, and then we're-having-a-girl-pink, and then khaki brown. Where the trim doesn't meet the floor you can see the faded stain of the original oak, now a pale green color. In some rooms the boards were cut wrong and you can see the dingy grey wood of the subfloor.
If we were more OCD (and richer), we would have small pieces of hardwood cut to fill in the gaps and then even out the stain so that everything is uniform. We would take off the trim and reattach it so that it's flush with the floor. Maybe we'd even buy brand new wood to replace the chipping, over-painted stuff that is there.
We started out like that - looking to fill in all the little blemishes and make the house "new" - but after a couple of weeks of painting ceilings and sanding wall compound off of cracks (that was Husband's work, unfortunately for his neck), we have started to let the little imperfections go. Ceilings that are not perfectly even, despite Husbands hard work, will stay slightly uneven. A line that goes a little wonky on the chair rail of the guest bedroom will now simply "add character".
We could get out the paint again and go over that line but we're beginning to accept the minor details that will make our house our home.
It makes me introspective. All my imperfections are highlighted, inspected and accepted. My bowl-full-jelly belly is seemingly unchanging and so, while I keep my diet fairly clean and regular, I am starting to believe that I'm not actually fat, after all.
This one errant gray hair that has sprouted at the crown of my head stays there, a mark of aging gracefully instead of with angst.
A scar I got when I was in grade school during an unfortunate game of tug-o-war played on asphalt is basically ignored. No one ever notices it anyway.
Mainly because - despite life's millions of imperfections - there are amazingly beautiful things that make up for them.
Having guests on our deck for a barbeque, even before we have furniture for it. Days and days of rain and clouds that are keeping it cool inside while we wait to have our broken air conditioner to be fixed.
The first bloom in my garden, open. Finishing the guest bedroom just in time to have my mother visit our home, which she has not seen yet.
And this - being late for work but just in time to see the horses let out to pasture (my favorite moment of the whole day) and happening to have my camera with me. I couldn't resist swinging around to take a photo of her, racing around so happily, finally free to enjoy the cool morning air.
She was born this year, in early spring, and you can tell that she hasn't even seen a saddle yet. There are no imperfections in her life.
Even if there were, she wouldn't care one little bit.