January, 2000 Contest: Why Do You Love Your Home?

We have a tie!
Congratulations to the winners.

Jacki Barber of Tallahassee, FL

Despite being rejected time and time again for a mortgage, due to my young age of 23 and my relatively low income, I persisted in looking at lower-priced homes. There was one ad for a house that had run for several months, but for some reason I ignored it. One day, I drove by the house, actually on my way to an appointment with another realtor, and the second I pulled in the driveway, I sat in awe, knowing this would be my house, before I ever even got out of the car. A year earlier I had used a computer program to design a small cottage I thought I could afford to build, and there, full size and in living color was the *exact* same cottage I had drawn.
I moved in 3 weeks later, though in the 14 months it took to finally close on the house using owner financing, my real estate agent had gotten married, had a child and gotten divorced! My 696 sq. foot raised “Florida house” was built in the late 1940’s and borders on a swamp. It was the first home of the woman who sold it to me, who herself had bought it in her 20’s on owner financing shortly after immigrating to America from Germany.Though a lot of work has been done, there’s still a lot left to do. The hardwood floors have a distinct slant and the doors don’t quite fit their moldings, the fireplace can’t be used and the huge backyard is over taken by swamp weeds 6 feet high. But hiding in all the brush are cypress knees and orange trees and my jallousy windows open with ease every spring to let the breeze sweep through as the dragonflies’ whirr is the only sound to be heard in the quiet peace that is this house.
I love my house because no one else wanted it, (kind of like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree), it sat vacant, waiting for me to arrive, so that it could be passed on, from one woman who was once young and in need of home to another. I love my house because it gives me security and a feeling of peace I’ve never felt before. But most of all I love my house because in its imperfection I see not its faults, but its potential, and somehow, in the three years of living here, improving bit by bit along the way, I’ve begun to see myself in the same light, and I truly believe I have this house to thank for that.

Erin Eisenman-Turner of Missoula, MT

Even in 1995, I loved my home! After purchasing my grandparents’ VERY small 1949 home, I decided to renovate and add on. Even in the midst of the messy renovation, I was still in love with the home. During the renovation, I learned alot about my grandparents, as I discovered letters, hairpins, receipts, etc., behind walls and in the back of cupboards. These were links to my heritage. Now, 5 years and a huge improvement later, I can sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor. My father did all the restoration work and the rest of my family helped also. So, when I look around now, I see the hours our family spent laughing, crying and sweating to breathe life back into this home.
Through the years, this house has seen my family grow up and I am so proud that I have brought the next generation of the Eisenman Family to this home. This past September, my husband and I gave birth to our first child. It is such a joy to know that my grandparents’ spirit is within these walls guiding and surrounding our little one!
I love my home because we have taken a bunch of stone, steel and wood and created a home. . .not a house, but a home. A place which is always warmed by love, lighted by happiness and full of life!