• Carly Rae

The Best House on the Street

Updated: Sep 10, 2019

“We have the best house on the whole street mummy!” Exclaimed my 6-year-old as we were strolling home from school one autumn day.

I quickly quieted her down and said, “Shh, don’t say that too loud sweetie because we don’t want to make anyone jealous.”

I cast a sneaky wink over my shoulder at my neighbour Anna, who was walking behind us. She giggles discreetly back in my direction acknowledging my sarcasm.

Anna lives in one of the many new, modern houses on my street. In the past, our area was full of small, war-home bungalows, like ours, purposely-built for the soldiers and their families. Recently, new families have bought these homes and torn them down, rebuilding huge ones in their place. The new houses have large pools, self-contained apartments out the back and double space garages out the front.

Our house is one of the only little, red brick originals left standing.

There is nothing flash about our house at all. We only have two bedrooms, a very small garage (that wouldn’t even fit one car), a very outdated bathroom and a little playroom, laundry room and study at the back of the house.

The house is literally falling apart due to its age. One morning I heard the girls laughing hysterically, only to find out that a piece of the ceiling had fallen into the baby’s cereal bowl.

The wooden trim along the floor has gaps so the outside is exposed, which makes it freezing in the winter. There is no heating, so the bills are through the roof as we heat the outside through the gaps in the floor with electric heaters. We can only use appliances one at a time or we will blow a fuse. The children know not to blow-dry their hair at the same time as making toast! It is not too difficult to remember these rules when there are only about 5 electrical outlets in the whole house anyway, not even one in the bathroom. At least we don’t have to worry about the children electrocuting themselves in the bath!

While most husband’s weekly duties include cutting the lawns and pulling the weeds, my husband is mending the holes in the roof or strategically placing buckets in our playroom to catch the rain as it leaks. He is also a genius at arranging the garage neatly to fit more stuff.

This type of house means that my children must get along because they know if they fight and slam the door too hard, the doorknob will literally fall off… and it has.

We have also had to learn to live without privacy because there are no locks on any of the doors and some of the ugly blinds are missing on the windows so you can see directly through into the house. I have become an expert at getting dressed in the hallway between the open windows in the morning!

So the house is old and falling apart but there are family photos hanging everywhere and when you walk in it always smells good because I am always cooking or baking something! We love music, so you can always hear musical instruments through the cracks in the walls.

It is a home that you aren’t afraid to put your glass down on the table or make a mess. It is a home that you aren’t afraid to make a mistake or tell a joke. When you enter the living room, there are soft pillows on the couch and baskets of children’s books on the floor begging to be read. There are hand-print paintings on the walls of our children and travel photos that we took ourselves in places that we actually visited together.

When you stroll into the kitchen there is children’s artwork stuck up on all the kitchen cupboards and class awards proudly displayed on the refrigerator. It is clean, but it is still quite evident that a family with small children is present.

One bedroom is shared by all three girls, but how fantastic would that be if you were a child? It would be like having a sleepover every night. They chat and read to each other before bed and their sister-bond is so strong.

Although the house is small, the backyard is a dream. It is huge. There is a cubby house, a trampoline and bikes to ride. Even better, there is a forest behind the fence where the girls can explore and play games together.

Most importantly, when you enter our house you can always hear the noise of children and laughter. You can almost taste the happiness in the air. We made it our home and the girls love it. They don’t care about size, structure or electrics. It is full of love and memories. This home has taught us that we don’t need all of life’s luxuries to have a warm, happy home. I loved that my daughter was seeing it through a six-year-old’s eyes and thought that it was the best house on the street.

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