Twenty-five years ago, my in laws decided to build themselves a house. And, like the Remington House, or Rose Red without the scary parts, the Duquette household has continued to evolve ever since. The house is full of personal touches and architectural oddities. Even its flaws, however, show evidence of great love. Over the years the hardwood has been worn by the toenails of many good dogs. My daughter eats her dinners in the same dining room, and even in the same old wooden high chair, that her father and aunts did years ago. My in laws used to own a kennel business, and the building where my husband worked by taking care of puppies and dogs as a teenager now houses our furniture until we make progress on moving into a new house. Like all good houses, this one echos with the history of the family that built it and has lived here ever since.
Although the house started life as a four bedroom, two bath, recent renovations to the attic created space for two more bedrooms and a library. Since we’ve moved in, the house is just about full. This gets hectic. Although there are two bathrooms, there are six adults and a baby living here full time. It takes some scheduling to make sure everyone gets out the door on time in the morning. One of the quirky things about this house is that both of the bathrooms have two doors. Maybe I’m overly paranoid, but there’s something about the two door situation that makes me feel like I need to be on guard in *ahem* unguarded moments.
Something I’ve definitely enjoyed about living with my in laws is feeling very much part of a big, energetic family. My sister and brother are much older than I am and they didn’t live in the same house as me while I was growing up. When everyone is home at the big house, there’s always someone to talk to, or hold the baby, or ask for help with a project. Although living in a crowded house can be tough, I’ll miss it once we (finally) move into our next house.
This past weekend, for example, my husband went to a bachelor party with some friends. When we lived in New Hampshire, this probably would have been a boring weekend for me. Living in Maine however, I spent the weekend with Nick’s sisters. We even took Zoey to Old Orchard Beach for the first time. She did not like the ocean…but she did like the rides at Palace Playland. And she really liked fried dough.
It often took a lot of planning to get together with friends while we lived in New Hampshire. But now that we’re living in Maine, it feels like we’re more connected with the people around us. Just one of the many benefits of coming home.