House to Home

We buried St. Joseph right in the front as we were supposed to.

We scoured Walmart for sage and burned it in the four corners of the house.

We have cleaned, decluttered, decluttered again, and lowered the price . . . twice.

And still our house hasn’t sold.


It needs cosmetic touches, to that I can attest.  And for some who may desire a more contemporary open floor plan, the 1900 Victorian cottage rooms I find cozy may translate to an expense if not the proverbial can of worms that comes with knocking down a wall or two.

The kitchen still features what I can only assume are sixty-plus-year-old cabinets and cannot boast the most up-to-date layouts photographed in multi-page spreads in cooking magazines.  And yet if you ask around, you might find that some delicious meals have come out of that kitchen.

The bathrooms have fully functioning sinks, toilets, and showers, as my family’s relative cleanliness on most days can testify, though there is nothing particularly luxurious or high-end anywhere in sight.

There is no driveway, no garage.  But in twenty years, I have never not been able to park in front of the house.  With just eight houses on this dead-end street tucked off the beaten path of one of Newport’s most historic, most beautiful neighborhoods, the only people who ever find us have to be looking for us, and sometimes even then, only if they’re lucky.

Why it has not sold remains a mystery to me.  The part of me that believes in fate sometimes thinks that perhaps where we are going next isn’t quite yet ready for us.  The mystical part of me believes that maybe the house isn’t entirely ready to let us go.

Whatever it is, like everything else that has perplexed me, challenged me, caused me angst, I believe eventually the answers will reveal themselves, that this waiting, this limbo will one day make sense.

A good friend of mine told me recently to simply relax and enjoy the summer here–that people pay exorbitant rents to summer in this very neighborhood, walking distance to downtown Newport but still quiet, just three blocks from the water and the most stunning sunsets, perpetually bathed in the smell of salt water and fresh air.

But our family does not need a house, ideally located as this one may be.

We need a home.