That Old Shack

At least we have a roof over our heads.

I repeated this daily while looking around what appeared to me to be a shack. A barely standing duplex that we lived in, decorated nicely, and loosely called home.

To the naked eye is was quaint. Its pale yellow siding and dark wood deck welcoming guests from the side into an open concept floor plan.  The pale laminate throughout warmed with a brown area rug, a proud purchase at the time but left behind in the move for fear of bringing mold or dust mites with us.

A closer inspection would reveal holes along the baseboards, ant and mouse traps under cabinets, and hours spent putting up new weather-stripping on a house we didn’t own.

We promised each other we would move, we would buy a house.


The move would come sooner than we thought.

There was mold. There was a lot of mold. We discussed the situation with our landlady and communicated to her that the house was making our newborn sick. We wrote her letters about the mold, the holes, the bugs, the dust, and the birds living in the eaves.

Nothing was done.

We had to move to keep our baby healthy.

I have memories of this house. The poorly constructed, mold and bug infested house.

Despite the conditions my memories are all good.

That house was were I experienced pregnancy, where I announced we were expecting a girl, where I sorted our baby’s gifts.

That house was were we chose our daughter’s nursery colours, decorated every inch with purpose, folded each tiny piece of clothing perfectly.

Weeks of my maternity leave spent filling out a hard cover pregnancy journal were spent in that house waiting for her to arrive.

I paced the floor of that house waiting for the call from the hospital to tell me it was time to induce.

That house is where we brought our baby girl home and went from two to three.

Became a family.

Although that house was a shack, we made it a home.


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29 Responses to That Old Shack
  1. brian
    March 24, 2011 | 7:12 am

    very well written Leighanne,

    • multitaskingmumma
      March 25, 2011 | 9:53 pm

      Thank you Brian.
      You know this place well.
      But you didn’t stick it out as long as we did LOL!!!
      Light weight! ahahah

  2. Shell
    March 24, 2011 | 2:32 pm

    It’s not really the place, it’s the feelings, isn’t it?

  3. Leigh Ann
    March 24, 2011 | 6:17 pm

    Shell just about took the words right out of my mouth. Memories make our lives, not our possessions.

  4. MamaRobinJ
    March 24, 2011 | 10:26 pm

    So beautiful. I can feel the fondness here, and I totally understand why.

  5. Katertot
    March 25, 2011 | 9:50 am

    It’s not the house that makes it a home – it’s the love that it’s filled with.

    I can relate. My husband and I were renting a duplex that we loved. Good neighborhood, felt like “us”. Then, the owner’s brother moved in downstairs. This once, quiet calm place turned into party central, complete with pot fumes. Not ideal for a pregnant lady. Even though we weren’t exactly ready, we decided to move and bought our first house. I’m not going to lie – it sucked at first. The house we bought was a fixer upper, but it all worked out because we made it work.

    • multitaskingmumma
      March 25, 2011 | 9:49 pm

      When we first moved into “the shack” we had fantastic neighbours but they moved a couple of months before we did. A family moved in who were very loud and smoked inside.
      Because the walls of “the shack” were so thin and poorly insulated the smoke would come through the walls.
      So awful.
      I’m so grateful we could afford to move.

  6. Jack
    March 25, 2011 | 7:14 pm

    That house is where we brought our baby girl home and went from two to three.

    Became a family.

    Although that house was a shack, we made it a home.

    Love this.

  7. Jessica
    March 25, 2011 | 7:40 pm

    Such a sweet post, it is definitely the memories that make a house, not the walls. So glad you have such fond memories to look back on.

    • multitaskingmumma
      March 25, 2011 | 9:47 pm

      Thats the great thing about family, you can make fantastic memories anywhere.

    • multitaskingmumma
      March 28, 2011 | 7:12 pm

      Thank you.
      I am also glad I have such fond memories as well.
      I wasn’t sure I would.

  8. Andrea
    March 26, 2011 | 4:11 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to that place you called home.

  9. Miri
    March 26, 2011 | 6:02 pm

    Beautiful. It brought me back to our first apartment. The place where we became a couple, where we became pregnant, a family.

    It was an ancient hole in the wall with sewage problems – the reason we moved – and I was always so desperate to get out of there. And once everything but the couch was out I sat down on it and started crying and told my husband I didn’t want to leave.

    Because, as you too discovered, it had become home.

    • multitaskingmumma
      March 27, 2011 | 6:32 pm

      I did that once after we babysat my parents dog.
      I didn’t want to watch her.
      Then after two weeks they came back from their trip and I cried because she had to leave.

  10. Melissa Taylor
    March 26, 2011 | 11:06 pm

    Came here from Red Dress – love your writing!

  11. Jill
    March 27, 2011 | 12:23 am

    Another wonderful post! I can totally relate to this story too. =)

    • multitaskingmumma
      March 27, 2011 | 6:31 pm

      Thank you Jill.
      I think many people have lived somewhere that they weren’t too happy with but has held some meaning.

  12. Galit Breen
    March 27, 2011 | 7:54 am

    You captured the essence of a home so very beautifully! The memories, the changes, the moments that you want to hold onto. This was an amazing PYHO!

  13. Jackie
    October 12, 2011 | 6:59 am

    Mold… now that’s scary.

    It isn’t the house but the love and special memories that we put into it that makes it a home and that is exactly what you did.

    • multitaskingmumma
      October 13, 2011 | 8:56 am

      it was such a gross house! I hated it.
      I’m glad that we have a new house now and it’s all ours.
      Mold free.

  14. JDaniel4's Mom
    October 12, 2011 | 8:14 am

    Stopping from Time Travel Tuesday a day late! You really did make a home. What a wonderful place to remember for a place that is mold free.

    • multitaskingmumma
      October 13, 2011 | 8:52 am

      Thank you!!
      We don’t live there anymore, thankfully, but for the time that we did we tried to make the best of it.

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