“Our House” is a song written by Graham Nash and recorded by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in 1970. Graham Nash wrote the song about an ordinary day he spent with his girlfriend Joni Mitchell. They went shopping, bought a vase, and when they got back to their home in Laurel Canyon, she filled it with flowers while he lit a fire.
I’ll light the fire
You put the flowers in the vase that you bought today
Staring at the fire for hours and hours while I listen to you
Play your love songs all night long for me, only for me
Our house is a very, very, very fine house with two cats in the yard
Life used to be so hard
Now everything is easy ’cause of you
A typical day for anyone that became a massive hit song.
Our House Had Many Ordinary Days
Ordinary days make up a lifetime.
When my husband and I got married we purchased a townhome together. Back then, it almost felt like we were playing house. We never lived together before we were married so everything about that time in our lives felt fresh and new.
Our life together was beginning. We decorated, became accustomed to our new neighborhood, and had a lot of fun. A whole new world was ahead of us.
One daughter later and planning for another, we outgrew our little townhouse and bought the home I still live in today. Now, 23 years later, I can remember a million moments in our house.
There are a few awful ones and a few amazing ones. But most are life’s little moments. Pancake breakfasts, bedtimes, movie watching, daughters fighting, cuddles, playing with our dog, and so on. Plenty of flowers were put in vases, just like Joni Mitchell.
Our House Has Become Quiet
My husband has been gone for years now. Those little girls have grown up and now live on their own. That’s not to say they don’t need me. They do, and I also need them. We spend a lot of time together, they just don’t live in our house anymore.
I have become someone who loves my alone time. Really, I am very happy when I am home by myself. I love having my daughters or my boyfriend for a few nights, but I am not upset when it is time for them to leave. I’m good.
But where I live no longer fits me. There is too much space for just myself. No one sleeps in beds so they are always perfectly made, and there are rooms that I never go into.
The problem is that I am attached to the house, to the millions of memories and ordinary days that we spent there. It is also the place that reminds me of my husband, and my girls’ lives are wrapped up in our home.
The Home Deserves More
We bought the house “for sale by owner” all those years ago. We met the family who lived there before us and were able to see how much they loved their home. I could see how sad they were to leave it but I also noticed that they seemed happy that it was going to a new young family who would love it just as they did.
And we did.
I know it is someone else’s turn to love the house.
It is time for me to start a new chapter and for the house to move on to a new family. It deserves children running through it.
I am lucky to know exactly where the house is going and that makes it so much easier. Soon things will be settled so I can write further about a new chapter for both me and the home I have loved.
There is no fireplace to light the fire, but it is someone else’s turn to put the flowers in the vase that they bought that day.
Stacy was a stay-at-home mom/part-time preschool teacher whose life was turned upside down in 2011 when her husband passed away suddenly of a heart attack. She is raising her two fabulous daughters, who are turning into wonderful young women. In 2016, she started a blog about her experience as a young widow, The Widow Wears Pink. This led her to write for other publications including Huffington Post, Today.com, Scary Mommy, Grown & Flown, Kveller, Modern Loss, Thought Catalog, and many more. In 2018 she started Living the Second Act with fellow writer Mimi Golub. Today, Stacy and her daughters are happily living their “new normal” while always keeping her husband’s spirit alive.