There once was a house that sat on the corner of a street. Surrounded by trees it stood with a weathered paint job and failing roof. Inside lay broken dreams in the midst of filth and sadness. Finally a sign was hammered into the ground out front. One day a woman came to the house. Beside her was a man with glasses and a polo shirt. “Isn’t this fantastic?” The woman whispered. The husband, who liked to think things over, said not a word. They went from room to room stepping over unpaid bills and children’s toys. I see what you can be. The woman said inside her heart. The house took a deep breath in for no one had noticed it in awhile. The woman passed the plates stacked high in the kitchen and the dirty counters and said, I see what you can be. The house breathed in again, this time a little deeper. The young couple walked out onto the deck to see a backyard covered in leaves, vines, and weeds. I see what you can be. She whispered once again. The house breathed in deeper still. She turned to the man. “This is our home. I know it.” “Are you sure about that? It needs an awful lot of work.” “I am.” The man, being the sensible one, weighed the risks and it was decided that the house was indeed a good one. The house was overjoyed. Once again its heart was full. The couple waited and waited. It seemed the closing would never happen. Finally the day came. The couple took the woman’s parents to the house. They had never been so excited. The parents walked around slowly, taking in every part of the house, cutting their eyes at the disaster that lay before them. “Do you love it?” the woman said. “It is a lot of work.” the parents replied. “But we will help you.” So they did. The women scrubbed and scrubbed. The men painted and painted. They were exhausted, but again and again they returned. To scrub and paint. Weed and floor. It was many years before the home was finished. But each time a job was finished, the house seemed to stand a little taller. Each time the white, work trailer drove away, the house seemed to stand a little prouder. The house saw many things. A book club formed, a dog was adopted, a bad accident happened, a baby was born. Until one day a sign was hammered into the front yard. A girl came to see the house. She didn’t like the door or the old satellite dish. The house was sad once more so the woman whispered, I know what you are. Stand proud, sweet home. And it did — for it knew the road it had travelled.