Joyful Living

Discoveries While House Hunting


A year of quarantine gave me lots of time to think about what I want in my life and how I want to spend my time. I learned, together with L’Husband, that our family’s life truly starts at home. We like to bake and cook, garden and take walks, watch movies and YouTube videos (Key & Peele, Eurovision contestants, et cetera), and generally spent time together.

Quarantine solidified our lifestyle as de facto retired people. Yes, I want to travel again — ah, Paris! — but I really do I love being at home. If I’m honest, I’ve always been a homebody, an outgoing introvert. I enjoy going new places and meeting new people, but I also love retreating to recharge with a bath, a book, or a little buddy.

My penchant for seeking new experiences led me to change locales and jobs frequently in recent years. L’Husband and I have moved five times in the last six years. From Chicago to Milwaukee to different spots in Illinois to Vermont, we’ve lived in a big-city condo and a college-town house, rented a townhouse and purchased a 1940s bungalow. We’ve gained le perspective and l’expérience in ways I never could have anticipated if we’d fled downtown Chicago for the suburbs like so many of our upwardly mobile, young professional peers.

As fun as it’s been to be dynamic and embrace new opportunities and challenges, I am also ready to settle down into a long-term home for at least a little while (we’ve never lived anywhere longer than three years). Change keeps things fresh and interesting. It’s also exhausting and expensive, the packing up and the moving out and the driving and the house hunting and all the things. And after a year of fear, anxiety, stress, and uncertainty (le sigh) during pandemic quarantine, I’m even more exhausted. I’m also craving the comfort of familiarity and home.

So we are moving one last time (at least until I decamp to Paris!), back to a city in Illinois where we’ve already lived. Going back may seem like backsliding, but I am excited and grateful to start fresh in a place that already feels like home. The city may be the same, but my life is totally different now, and I plan to blend the nostalgia with the new.

L’Husband and I recently drove from Vermont to Illinois to house hunt (check out Day 1 and Day 2 of our road trip here, as well as the flight home and Le Chien’s own adventures). House hunting always offers the opportunity for discovery. You see so many random and intriguing things. You glimpse the intimacies of people’s everyday private lives. You also learn something about yourself, what you want, and how you envision your future.

File Under: Delightful Surprise

Early in the house hunt, I discovered an impressive thimble collection proudly displayed in a laundry room. So vintage, so old-fashioned, so je ne sais quoi. If only I’d had time to pore over each one to appreciate this curated amalgam of possible interests, inheritances, and idiosyncrasies.

File Under: A Girl After My Own Heart

The home with the Amazing Thimble Collection also offered a delightful Paris reading list on a preteen’s bedroom. C’est magnifique! Young-adult fiction always holds a special place in my heart (and when I finally figure out what I want to be when I grow up, it may include writing a YA book about a girl and her dachshund, le wink).

File Under: Gird Your Loins

Another house presented a shock in a home office. I was totally entranced, nay, enchantée, by this white board so early on a Tuesday morning. My opinion of organized religion aside, some principles shine, such as being empathetic and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. Hashtag whatever it takes.

File Under: Random and Captivating

The home we ended up purchasing also had some gems in the basement storage room. Bankers boxes full of music books and then, randomly, one for Nebulizers & Old Answering Machines. So many queries here. Why did they keep not just one but multiple old answering machines?

More importantly, what is a nebulizer? I’d never hears this word before, but not less than twenty-four hours later, my aunt mentioned during a phone call that she needed her nebulizer. Once you learn a new word, you hear it everywhere! Zut alors!

What new discoveries have you made lately?

Merci for reading and please subscribe and share!

À votre santé,


5 thoughts on “Discoveries While House Hunting”

  1. As I study some of the US history that I didn’t learn in school, the Mountain Meadow Massacre came to my attention earlier this month. A week or so later, as I was decluttering, I picked up a book by Stephen Colbert, called “I am America (and So Can You!)” and read a few pages where I’d left a bookmark years ago. In the Religion chapter, he mentions a Mormon tradition “of massacring pioneers” and I went, if I had read that sentence four weeks ago, it would have meant nothing. … That’s my most recent discovery. Sorry! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


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