LIFE IS SHORT | Au­to­bi­og­ra­phy as Haiku

The Washington Post Sunday - - Style -

On Thurs­day we put our home of 16 years on the mar­ket. The house my wife bought as a bach­e­lorette. That I moved into when we got mar­ried. That we spent in­nu­mer­able hours ren­o­vat­ing. That we brought our two daugh­ters home to for the first time. On Thurs­day af­ter­noon the stove re­fused to light. The sump pump switch failed. The han­dle on the toi­let broke. In the wind storm Fri­day, part of the fence blew down. The front light burned out. It’s well known that chil­dren act out when a ma­jor life tran­si­tion oc­curs. Ap­par­ently houses have feel­ings, too. David Wade


It started with the thought that a big­ger bath­room could ac­com­mo­date the grow­ing num­ber of unguents my daugh­ters are amass­ing. While we’re at it, we could ex­pand our closet. And add linen stor­age and re­cessed light­ing — even sky­lights. Surely then we wouldn’t have an­cient shoes stick­ing out from un­der the bed, piles of books in the hall­way and a cof­fee stain on the wall. My hair­cut would be hip­per, my clothes cooler, my con­ver­sa­tion more thrilling. But I know my fam­ily — messy, ex­plo­sively creative, non­per­fec­tion­ist. So I scaled back my plans. Cost of ren­o­va­tion: eight garbage bags. Kate Holden Spring­field


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