Last week Ida asked me if I missed ‘the old house.’ I think it’s the first time she’d asked me that. I had asked her plenty of times over the course of the last 10 months since we’d moved, aiming to be sensitive to her emotional wellbeing — but her answer had always been ‘no.’
Truth is, I don’t think I’d given too much thought to whether I missed the old house or not. I don’t usually spend a whole lot of time looking back. I think I’m a ‘charge ahead’ kinda person and don’t often reminisce about things like past homes. And then, right on the heels of that discussion, the latest issue of Inside Out Magazine (it’s a fantastic shelter mag out of Australia) came out with a multi-page feature on that very home. It was shot just weeks before we moved to the Jungalow By The River.
Flipping through the pages I remembered…I loved the privacy we had in that house. Surrounded by trees, we were separated from all of our neighbors and even though we were in the heart of this crazy huge city surrounded by apartment buildings, high schools, condos and traffic, that home felt a bit like a compound away from it all. In our new house, we’re more ‘cozy’ with our neighbors.
The flip side to that is that we are getting to know our neighbors, sharing produce from our various fruit trees, watching each others’ pets and plants, etc. when need be and even though it’s less private, it’s more communal and neighborly.
I loved the fire place in the old house — even though I think we used it once in 5 years, it was great for styling! I also loved the natural light in the old house, and I loved how well I knew that light. I knew exactly what times of day the light was best for snapping photos, sharing snuggles, and dozing off. I’m still getting to know the light at our new home, still discovering the right angles — that comes with time–but I also love this period of discovery. Living in a new place is kind of like dating a new person you’re really into. I get into the mystery and the discovery, too. The unfamiliarity can be intimidating but it’s also energizing.
I will always remember that house as the place where Jason and I started our family. I was pregnant in that home. I launched The Jungalow from there. Jason and I were married while living there. Do I miss it? Not really I guess. Do I think fondly of it? Yes, I do. It was perfect for then, and where we are now is perfect for now. Do you get nostalgic for past homes, or do you enjoy the challenge of starting fresh? (or both?) I’d love to hear!
To see the rest of the feature, pick up Inside Out Magazine ( I can usually find it at my local large bookshop like Vromans, or at B&N).
Styling by Jason Grant
Photography by Grace Cassio
I’m like you–don’t look back much, charge ahead. I usually like wherever I am now best, probably because there was a reason I moved. We downsized from a 2-storey house to a 2 bedroom condo on one floor. I like that it’s just the right size for this time in our life. Everything is close by and accessible without being crowded. It’s also very open concept.
carrie burdick says
We have built two homes and a cabin from scratch and remodeled one, and I think you described it perfectly, I have fond memories, but don’t seem to get attached, happy to move on to our next challenge and to see what memories we can create in our new home. I know you will have great ones in yours!
Justina Blakeney says
Two cabins from scratch!!? Well, I may have gotten more attached if I had built the homes from scratch! Ha!Thanks for your kind words, Carrie!
So wonderful to have these images to look back!
Both:) I moved a lot in my life. I often need to reminiscence, so life wouldn’t seem like some series of unrelated episodes to me. I also need to make the best from every home too-my experience taught me that. Less waiting for the miracle to come. As one poet wrote-miracle comes when absolutely nothing else works, and not beforehand.
Love both of your Jungalows.
Justina Blakeney says
That all makes a lot of sense to me. Thanks for chiming in <3!
rachel weaver says
I loved your old home and I love your new home. I am a looking forward sort myself, but sometimes that old nostalgia will do wonders.
And I really enjoy watching you discover your new house. looking at your pictures on instagram is the best inspiration.
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