I love living in an old neighborhood. I still seem to know more about my neighboring houses than about the occupants inside after 2+ years here. Still, the neighboring acquaintances I have cannot help but be colored by the histories of the houses they live in.
Take the first house that was built on our street, the ‘Patriarch’ we call it. The several large houses about it had been built for the owner’s children’s families about 10+ years later. It is hard to see our neighbors of the ‘Patriarch’ as NOT the Head of our Street, as though they just inherited the title [the remnants of the Original family are long gone now].
The High Style Queen Anne built for a Dress Maker still seems to house an uptight household, and the Arts & Crafts owners all seem mellow, approachable and just the right fit. Projectionism, indeed…but perhaps not entirely.
We are drawn to things that can reflect ourselves positively (in our own mind). Dog Owners are drawn to breeds/mixes that suit their lifestyle and pace. A car is not always a good reflection of oneself because (mostly for economic reasons) a car is sometimes just a car, not something we had much say in acquiring.
So is the same reservation held for homeowners? Surely the percentage of those whom can afford whatever they so desire is rather insignificant. We all settle to some degree on our wants/needs and what we can barely afford. But I think the impetus to NOT SETTLE as much as one can in regards to homeownership is far stronger than for, say, a vehicleownership. Home is HOME, and for those that find themselves drawn to more vintage neighborhoods (and high-maintenance houses), the quasi-tangible ambience of a house’s essence become a driving factor, and thus, a home becomes a public ‘reflection’ of ones household.
The Sticks and Stones of this Home are as much the Blood and Bones of our Family. Bless us all.