Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Fair Lady

Ever grown weary of beige? I did. About 9 years ago, I was tired of beige. Beige siding, beige carpet, beige furniture.  Beige defined the world of rentals and subdivisions. Miles and miles of beige vinyl siding with two car garages plopped down in a world of concrete with a cute name like Stoney Brook or Silver Lane. 

After five years of beige rentals, I knew I could not raise my children in a home devoid of personality and charm. I could not commit to another lease agreement in a world where my home was only distinguishable from the surrounding fleet by the number outside the door.

Instead, I envisioned a future where my children could claim a yard, a house and a whole town as their home and it mean more than just an address. I wanted to find that house that my children would identify with happiness, safety, comfort and uniqueness in town where they could be “from.” 

My Fair Lady
On a fall day in 2002, my husband and I trotted across the yard of a home for sale in my home town of Tarkio. The leaves had turned gorgeous shades of yellow and orange and were ankle deep in the yard of this house that had been on the market for over a year. Matt hoisted me up on his shoulders so I could peak in the window of this 100 year old Victorian. Original woodwork, high ceilings and a turret…this was no beige.

In December of 2002, we made this house our home for a mortgage payment hundreds of dollars less than our rent in Kansas City. In the years that followed, we added gutters, storm windows, paint, gardens and a drive way. We added a baby boy in 2003, a little girl in 2007 and filled the last bedroom in 2010 with another sweet little boy. Over time, we have stained the carpet, put dents in the walls and had to break down the bathroom door after my son locked himself in.  We’ve  laughed in times of joy and cried in sorrow with our neighbors. 
Best part of this home is not just its charm, its uniqueness and its history. Best part of this home is that everyone knows that’s where the Schlueters live. That’s Aaron’s house. That’s Josh’s baby swing. Look, Lizzie left her bike in the driveway. Matt must be home early tonight. His pickup is in the driveway. Call Ann. She left the van lights on again.

What we are lacking in concrete and beige, we make up for in identity. That’s Ann’s house. That’s my home. Friends, that’s where WE are from.
No offense intended to those beige loving folks...there's enough love for us all!


  1. Amen, Sister, Amen! Love the color on your Painted Lady, by the way.

  2. But is there room for that plain white wrapper? That's what I need to know!!