Tokens of Ownership

Just now Mark pulled three brushed nickel house numbers out of a rumpled Restoration Hardware bag. The receipt tumbled out with them.

4/16/2005

Three days after my 28th birthday. The day after our closing. Our first house. Our wedding less than two months away. Unbeknownst to me, my current job will end very soon, another opportunity presenting itself favorably. So much change, so much new responsibility. Going into Restoration Hardware, on the corner of Boylston and Exeter Streets, and poring over the styles and finishes, wanting to purchase a small, perfect something. A token for the house. Something to make it immediately ours. Feeling very adult, going to buy new numbers for my house at a fancy store in Back Bay.

Now, Mark sits at the kitchen table, an Azek board and a screw gun in hand, and mounts the numbers to the board. Three more minutes and the board is on the house.

Five years, four months and seventeen days later, those numbers, my token of ownership, are finally on the house. In that time, Mark has gutted eighty percent of the first floor, replumbed and rewired the whole house, built two new staircases, a bath/laundry room, a home office, a new front porch and back deck, reroofed, and fenced in the yard, we’ve decorated a nursery, brought home two puppies, and our small boy. I’ve planted gardens, transplanted flowers from my mother’s gardens, we put in a sandbox. Through all that, the old numbers stayed where they were, on the old front porch post, leaning up against the street face of the house. Somehow all those responsibilities and lists crowded around, jostling for attention, and time slipped away.

Today, though? We have three new brushed nickel numbers on a block on the front of the house.

6 responses to “Tokens of Ownership

  1. Wow. impressed with Mark! He is a keeper!

  2. I have a ton of things around here that need repairing, and my talents are more with writing than a hammer.

    Can I borrow him?

    I’ll feed him and everything.

  3. This was lovely, but it has left me with a heavy heart.

    My own stuff. My own Restoration Hardware purchase and what it signifies.

    Sigh.

    But your post?

    Lovely.

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