Happy to Be Home

Jiab Wasserman

IN THE PAST THREE years, Jim and I have moved five times—three times in Spain and twice in Dallas. We sold almost all our possessions when we moved to Spain, taking just four suitcases and two cats. When we returned to Dallas, we didn’t bring home much more—five suitcases and two cats.

Fortunately, I’ve discovered that I prefer living in a smaller home. I love the design of Spanish houses, which are—on average—just half the size of equivalent U.S. homes. Because most Spanish homes don’t have central air conditioning, all of our Spanish casas had lots of windows for cross-breezes. This also provided natural light from multiple directions. Each place had at least one outdoor terrace.

When we returned to the U.S., we lived in a condo for four months. We were waiting for our tenant’s lease to end on the townhome we own. The condo had plenty of space, about 1,200 square feet. But I just didn’t care for the layout. It lacked a terrace or patio, and the light and air came in only from the south side. The windows could be opened, but just barely.

When we finally moved back into our Dallas townhome a few weeks ago, I realized that it has the qualities that we loved in our Spanish apartments. It gets lots of light from multiple directions. It has a private courtyard, so we can leave the doors open for some fresh air. It has places for plants to thrive, including the kitchen window sills. There’s even a small cat door, so our pets can frolic in the courtyard at night, chasing bugs and rolling in catnip.

Having been away, we fell in love with our first home all over again.

Voltaire writes of travelers who, after seeing much of the world, decide that perhaps the best thing they can do is cultivate their own garden. Jim and I are doing exactly that, with some help from the cats.

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Andrew Forsythe
Andrew Forsythe
1 year ago

I admit I couldn’t have quoted Voltaire, but I can quote Dorothy: “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home….”

Roboticus Aquarius
Roboticus Aquarius
1 year ago

Thanks for your perspective. The multiple recent posts regarding housing is helpful as we prepare for retirement within the next decade, and house size is definitely something we will continue to mull over.

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