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  • Kristan Higgins

The green, green grass of homes

Hi, I’m Kristan, and I’m a house-aholic. It’s true. I’m addicted to houses. My favorite thing to do is scroll through Zillow and imagine moving somewhere else. I don’t actually want to live somewhere else—we just got back in here!— but maybe it’s because I’m an author, or maybe it’s because we never moved when I was a kid, but I am addicted to imagining life elsewhere.

I say we never moved when I was a child, but that’s not true. We moved when I was six weeks old, two miles from the apartment my parents were renting. Then, when I was five, we moved nine miles away. I still remember standing in the back of my uncle’s truck with all the boxes and furniture, holding onto a random piece of metal with my sister, bumping long the back roads, hoping not to be tossed out on a hill laced with frost heaves.

Then, at age seven, we moved into the house (four miles away) that my parents had been building for two years. It was very fun. But alas, Jeannie Mahoney moved, and I thought it was so sophisticated and glamorous that I asked if we could also move. My parents laughed. “We’re never leaving here,” my dad explained. “It’s our dream house.”

Dang it. Sure, it was big and lovely and I had my own room (but later moved in with my sister because it was fun). We had the woods and many animals, so many trees to climb, so many paths to forge…literally, with an axe and a rake. Safety is for Gen Z and millennials, not us bad-ass Gen-Xers.

Many years later, when considering where to move so our future children could be free-range, as McIrish and I were, we chose my hometown. Built a house next to Sainted Mother and the rest is history.

But we just got back from the Adirondacks, and now I want to live there. And of course, on Cape Cod. Let’s not forget La Jolla, CA. Or the Pacific Northwest. Montana (the mountainous part). Denmark. Venice. Lyon. Everywhere I go, I see that sweet little place, that fixer-upper or pristine home, and yep, I could totally see myself there. I go to Zillow, type in an area and spend a happy hour or so, showing McIrish pictures and explaining what he’d have to do to fix the place up, or how I could have a horse there, or a boat here, or how hygge I’d be there.

Surely, I would write more and better if only we lived somewhere else. Imagine the holidays if both kids and their families came to our Adirondacks great camp! Or how much fun we’d have frolicking on the rocks of La Jolla, swimming year round! How utterly cool and well dressed we’d be in Denmark!

I remember reading that Senator John McCain (may he rest in peace and power) had eight homes. I totally get it, sir. Luckily, my job lets my brain live in a cute little place. Sometimes, as you know, I rent a place that’s similar to where my heroine might live. That’s where I’m headed today…to a cute little apartment on the third floor of a very cool building, where I’ll pretend to be single, 35 and looking for exactly what I have now—a nice guy, wonderful kids and a cozy, welcoming home.


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