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My perfect house would simply have to have …

Tracy Lee Curtis
Tracy Lee Curtis is a humorist, writer and speaker. She writes family humor for the Charlotte Observer. Her column appears each Sunday.

So we've finally sold our house. And now I'm in search for not just a house, but the perfect house. It doesn't have to be big or fancy. But there are a few things I'd like to have…

Like that secret sponge drawer in front of the kitchen sink that only opens halfway. I love that. But no “gourmet kitchens” – too much pressure. I like double ovens, though, because when burnt cheese in one oven starts to smoke up the house, I can use the other one.

I need built-ins with doors so when people come over I can make my husband's bobblehead collection disappear into the woodwork. Same goes for his baseball collection, his decoy collection and his beer stein collection. And I need the latches to stick.

I'd like the stairs to be close enough together so I can take them two at a time when the phone is upstairs and I'm downstairs. And I want every room in the house to be visible to my husband's den so he can see what it is that I do all day.

I want the two kids' rooms to have screen doors and be joined by a bathroom. That way I can see them in there and know they have plenty of fresh water. And hardwoods, no carpet. Because my toddler screaming about the sound of the vacuum is always louder than the sound of the vacuum.

For the teenage years, I want the rec room in a finished attic, not a basement, because I can hear the bottle spinning better if it's above me. And I want the alarm system wired for the front door, the back door, HBO, and the computer. And if I can't have that, then I want a floor plan where the kids have to walk through my bedroom to get to all four.

I'd like one of those bunkers for emergencies. Like when I need to talk on the phone and finish my wine before bathing the kids. Or hide all my black shoes so I don't have to keep explaining to my husband the difference between a flat, a heel and a wedge.

I'd like a fireplace with a light switch, not a poker. Invisible fencing inside all the walls to remind the kids not to take their hands, crayons or Hot Wheels to them. And a hot tub that only fits two comfortably.

But … I have to admit, after looking for several months I don't think there is a perfect house.

And pulling away from our old house, I have a lump in my throat. I've been so consumed with where I'm going, I've forgotten where I'm leaving. I got married and had two children in this house. That's what made it perfect. It's not where the walls are, it's what happens between them.

So as long as no one touches them, I imagine the new walls are holding up what will be a perfect house, too.

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