Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Old Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle

This book is a silly little book that I have been avoiding to read to Leah for a long time. I don't love the illustrations and, let's face it, the title is less that exciting. But, THE OLD WOMAN WHO LIVED IN A VINEGAR BOTTLE led me to a minor breakthrough today.

The book chronicals an old woman who - duh - lives in a vinegar bottle, upon pitying her living situation and wishing for a new one a fairy happens by and tells her to turn around three times, close her eyes, go to bed and, "In the morning see what you shall see." The old woman does this and finds that in the morning she has received her much wished for home. The book goes through this process three or four times as the old woman is never sufficiently content with her home (she ends up living in a castle stating that she should be Empress of the Universe). After wishing to be the Empress, the fairy puts her back into her vinegar bottle, "If she's not content here, she won't be content there. After all, happiness comes from the heart, not from the house."

These last sentences are what interested me the most. Matt and I have been married for 3 1/2 years now and have moved 3 times. I've decided that I have a tendency to want the greener grass on the other side. Ever since we moved into this apartment I have made it my goal to find us a house. Now, do we need a house? It would be nice, but no. Should we buy a house? Well, we probably could but our current living conditions are suitable if not ample. I realized, reading this book, that our living structures are not what make houses livable. I keep thinking that I can finally relax when we have a house - our own space. I don't need a mortgage and a yard to make my life wonderful. My life is wonderful. Our cozy apartment is filled with love and acceptance and that's what makes a house a home. I need to be content here, so I can be content anywhere.


Tracy said...

Very insightful. And so true on many levels, not just in the house department! Before long, you'll be in a home that you've worked towards and you'll look back to your apartment days with affection because it represents such a specific phase in your life. You'll love where you're at, and you'll love where you've been. At least that's what I'm finding so far...thanks for making me think!

Katy said...

Good thoughts... Thanks for sharing. I have the 'live in a house' bug bad. I have been looking at houses to Rent. Which would be more space... but about 300 more a month... Recently, Tyler and I looked at each other and said... why are we thinking about this... we are having a baby in 3 mo. I can't PACK! He can't spend time moving. We like our $300 a month spent elsewhere.
So true... i always look for the next best thing only to figure it was hear all along.


P.S. there is no denying that rent sucks though.

Paul & Sarah said...

Thanks for sharing! That is a very insightful little story. You do have a lot to love about the place you're in right now.
I have to say I've loved living in all the apartments we've lived in, but hindsight has always made the present so much better. There are a lot of advantages to living in an apartment though. I can't tell you how many unforeseen expenses we've run into since owning a house. Enjoy free maintainance while you can!