Inspired Home Magazine,  Personal Writing

A Shift in Dreams

This story originally appeared in the March/April 2010 issue of from house to HOME magazine.

I have lived in three places as an adult. The little one bedroom apartment in the upstairs of an old house where I brought my son home from the hospital; the renovated 1920s apartment building where he grew up; and the 1950s cottage I purchased nearly three and a half years ago.

The first apartment was darling with dormered ceilings and wooden floors. The second apartment was 45 stairs up and had lots of windows and charm. Then I began to look for a house.

What I really wanted was a turn of the last century house. The problem was those houses require a substantial “rainy day” account, and buying a house was going to take me just about down to zero in all my accounts. Two years into house shopping, my amazing realtor drove me to a little green cottage that had been built in 1954 and was surrounded by other little cottages that were pretty similar but all clean and happy looking in their own way.

I walked in and knew this was my house. I put together all my money and bought it. It didn’t have incredible charm, but it did have a yard for my then 10-year old son to play in, it had an attached sunroom that reminded me of my grandparents’ house, and I felt pretty certain it wasn’t going to fall apart on me.

When I drove Quinn past it for the first time, we stopped and I said, “See that house? I just bought it.” He looked at me and didn’t seem to comprehend what I was saying. I said again, “I just bought this house for us.” He got tears in his eyes and couldn’t really speak.

Suddenly, this house was the most perfect of houses. His reaction made me see this little cottage for what it was—our home. It doesn’t have the most incredible architectural features, but it is ours. And since I bought it, we have added a golden retriever and my long-term partner, now my wonderful husband, to the mix.

I still hope to someday have an old house with gorgeous woodwork, high ceilings, a beautiful foyer, and other features that ooze charm, but Quinn’s response to this house means more to my heart than any architectural feature ever will. This house is my dream home.

Dayna Del Val is on a mission to help others (re)discover the spark they were born with through her blog and newsletter, her professional talks and the (re)Discover Your Spark retreats she leads. Dayna works with people to help them not just identify and articulate their dreams but to develop a framework to get going on the pursuit of those dreams—today, in the next few months and for the years ahead. She's at the intersection of remarkable and so, so ordinary, but she knows that pretty much everyone else is, too. She's excited to be sharing this extraordinary journey with you.

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