Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Buying Houses

On the night before Thanksgiving I was having a discussion with my mom about the house I grew up in. I was telling her that I hope she and my father never get rid of it. I told her that if I have a family and steady income one day, and they decide to move, I would certainly move in to keep it in the family.

That discussion then went into another discussion about remodeling, things I would think of night after night when trying to fall asleep for impending high school mornings. I had forgotten that she took courses in Architecture, had already put to paper plans for all sorts of additions, and we talked all about different ways the house could be reconstructed, some simple and plausible, some purely dreams.

At some point, when making a grandiose proposal for a second story, I said, “well, I guess we’ll have to see where America is then.” Meaning by the time I’d actually have the means or the need to have a house of my own, the times may not call for expansion, but for making the best of what you got.

That comment came really naturally, and I caught myself a second later, “whoa did I really just say that?” I’m not sure that my generation has a real concept of trying times on a national scale. Certainly there are the personal ones that hit everyone to varying degrees – tragedy doesn’t discriminate - but we’re at what seems like quite a pivotal point, and maybe the habits and freedoms that we take for granted might not always be there.

I certainly hope a good leader is elected next year. It is so incredible to me what gets compromised for the sake of greed, and I know I’ve been damn lucky to grow up in the time and place that I have. I’d rather not give it up. I know most others feel the same way.

I talked more with my mom about this, about the houses that our generation could be buying in a few years. She commented that the blind expectation for one’s children to be doing better than them, might not be as common as it once was. The country is not on the rise at the moment. There is a seed of concern.

I have a feeling that there were some really interesting discussions at the Thanksgiving table this year, maybe some in the spirit of what we were told the holiday is about. With the presidential approval rating being so darn low, then I can only assume that there have been a lot of hearts that have changed. I guess that means that we’re less divided as a nation, that most of us can at least agree on something.

My mom continued to speculate that maybe our generation as a whole doesn’t even desire to live in that bigger house, drive a fancier car, and so on. I may think that her and my father’s house would look cool with that second story, but I’m ankle deep in a music career amidst the crumbling record industry, and my brother is a ski instructor and white water guide amidst the crumbling environment. We’re both really happy right now, though, and we know that the only thing of real value in this world is happiness.