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I’m Pretty Sure I’m a Bigger Nerd Than You

March 24, 2009

I live in this lovely old neighborhood in Grand Rapids that has some of the most beautiful architecture in the city; funky houses from the 1900s on up that are  like a bouquet of colorful paints and gingerbread-style trimmings.  With the felicitous spring weather we’ve been having lately, I’ve taken to walking around my neighborhood. It’s amazing how I can walk two or three streets up, and feel like I’m in an entirely new place. It’s like sightseeing in your own backyard.

It’s probably a good thing that I take these walks by myself, because I have this weird habit. I tend to re-imagine my life in all the houses that I pass, and what I would do if I lived there. (I blame this habit entirely on my mother. I know for a solid fact that I am not the only woman in my family to do this. Does anyone else who isn’t related to me do this? Is this like eating ketchup on grilled cheese — something quirky that we only seem to do?)

If I had that front porch, I would drink pitchers of iced tea and read poetry in the late afternoons.

If I had that big window in the front room, I would paint the room yellow so that all the reflected light would multiply and the room would glow.

That balcony would be perfect for growing pots of herbs, with a small chair and table just right for a French press of coffee and my bare legs on summer mornings.

That arbor would be beautiful covered in some kind of red flowering vine, or in Christmas lights in the winter.

I would put bookshelves in that sun room, along with a hopelessly big leather chair, and read there on wintery weekends. Ideally a fireplace would be included.

(Credit goes to Brian Kelly from Rapid Growth Media for all the lovely photos.)

I would paint this, I would grow that, I would organize my photographs on the walls in these rooms, and cool plates of fresh scones on that windowsill. There is something so intoxicating about creating a home, even if it’s only in my head; I suppose being a product of either living with my parents or just in a rental, the idea of real roots that I can call my own appeal to me. I dream of living rooms the perfect shade of deep turquoise with accents of worn wood and burnished gold. I design kitchens in my head whose wall glow with cheerful yellows and whose entire concept revolves around a line from a Joni Mitchell song (“and the sun poured in like butterscotch and stuck to all my senses…”). My daydreams even make me a good gardener (which is a tall order, considering that I tend to kill plants just by looking at them).

Someday I will have my turquoise walls or my cafe table for summer mornings. For now, I am content to build homes in my head as I wander around.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Amanda permalink
    March 24, 2009 11:51 am

    This, this right here is why we are friends! I do this ALL the time with homes, specially downtown and in EGR.

    I also enjoy large amounts of ketchup on my grill cheese.

  2. Caroline permalink*
    March 24, 2009 12:19 pm

    Hallelujah that I am not the only one! I officially feel less crazy.

    And I am also pumped for our coffee date on Friday!

  3. RachelPoo permalink
    March 24, 2009 2:21 pm

    mm not to be debbie downer, but you want to be careful becuase its illegal to take photos of private property and post them.

  4. Caroline permalink*
    March 24, 2009 2:24 pm

    I didn’t take the photos…hence why I credited Brian Kelly for them. I just linked them on here.

    If I get arrested, please send me “Gilmore Girls” and a lawyer. In that order.

  5. RachelPoo permalink
    March 24, 2009 2:25 pm

    ope never mind, i just reread and realized that someone else took them! ne’er mind!

  6. Sandra permalink
    March 25, 2009 8:06 am

    uhhhhh I’ve always put ketchup on my grilled cheese. I remember vividly in 3rd grade the kids at my table going “eewwwwwwww…that’s so grooossss” and I couldn’t understand why they were all so stupid.

  7. Caroline permalink*
    March 25, 2009 8:19 am

    Right on, sister-friend. Then again, when I was a kid, I put ketchup on everything. Even then, I acknowledged that was a little strange. The grilled cheese-ketchup combo is the only one that stuck with me. And I will maintain till death that it’s amazing.

  8. Grandma Carr permalink
    March 25, 2009 9:25 am

    Sweet Caroline…..Well, your fantasies are part of a strong gene that I call “romanticizing”. I never have quite gotten over my dream of owning a Victorian house in Petoskey that overlooks the Bay. Of course, the white wicker funiture is a given! Love you, Grandma

  9. Caroline permalink*
    March 25, 2009 11:43 am

    If you decide to buy that house, I will help you carry in the wicker furniture. 🙂

    Love you too, Grandma!

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