Home

I’m in the middle of transition, but today is the last day of the old.  Tomorrow begins our tenure at our glorious new house, built for us, full of our stuff, on land we picked out.  But we left a home of 22 years behind.  What goes into making a new house a home? 

What IS a home?  What does “home” mean to you?         (Just write.  See what comes out.)

18 responses to “Home

  1. Barbara Burris

    When Bruce and I married, I struggled for the first year. I moved into his house and into the welcoming arms of my step-children, but the house still didn’t feel like home to me. I brought my few belongings and integrated them into the décor, but they looked as out of place as I felt. Bruce encouraged me to redecorate anything I wanted, but I couldn’t shake that feeling of being the visitor in someone else’s space.

    As usual, I looked to books for an explanation of my feelings. As soon as I read the line, I felt it had been written for me. The author said that we have to create our own history with people in order to feel as though we belong. I loved listening to the children share their thoughts, but in truth I often felt left out when they shared their ‘remember when’ stories. I had to face it. There would be no quick fixes, no instant cures. No marriage ceremony was going to do it, either. For once in my life I had to be patient and simply wait for it to happen.

    When we left that house after twenty years, I felt I was indeed leaving home. No longer would I look out the kitchen window and see the swingset where Kevin balanced precariously as his father worked to rescue him when his tongue was frozen to the top bar. Nor would I see my puppy, Nemo, valiantly trying to steal the basketball as the children shot baskets into the netless hoop over the garage door. I knew I’d miss my big purple crocus in the spring but most of all, I’d miss the lime green and orange flowers on the tulip tree that had grown so tall I could now only see it’s delicate blooms from the window of my second floor studio. But we were moving into our dream house, the one we built ourselves.

    We moved in the week before Thanksgiving. I was excited to be here but once again, I had that ‘fish out of water’ feeling when I didn’t recognize anyone who walked by and none of the floor boards squeaked. My oldest son, Brent, asked me to make Thanksgiving dinner and for a moment, I wanted to yell “Are you nuts?” But then I saw the wisdom in his request. I unpacked the sea of boxes as fast as possible and within four days we served Thanksgiving dinner to the entire family. The kitchen tap was still producing iron laden ‘brown’ water and we hadn’t yet had time to finish caulking all the holes between the logs, so it was a little breezy, but we made our first memory. And there have been many more. This is the home where we brought our new puppy, Alex, and where we got the news of our first grandchild, and our second!

    Fortunately, memories are portable and so are some of their more tangible extensions. I have four tulip tree seedlings, gifts from our former tree. I’m told they don’t begin blooming until they’re twenty years old, but I’m prepared to wait, because after all, I’m home.

    • I love your last phase, “I’m prepared to wait, because after all, I’m home”. That pretty well sums up the meaning of “home”.

  2. I love this. You’ve gained so much wisdom through your experiences and your words tell of your inspiring passage.

    Your last paragraph is priceless!

    “…memories are portable…” How true and what a lovely way to put it.

    • Barbara Burris

      Thank you both! This one was easy for me to write today. Glad to be getting back into the swing after a long vacation from writing.

  3. For years home to me was my parents house. Whenever we would visit I would tell people that I was going home. Dad’s shop, Mom’s cooking, the picture of my grandparents on the piano, the card games, the laughter and the love that was felt there. It was home, a place I could be myself and not some pretend person that strived to please others.

    That may have been the reason my first marriage failed. We never made a home, we just had a house. She was the same way that I was, her home was her parents house. Although we couldn’t be ourselves there because we had to please the master, the father-in-law and his concept of reality. Nevertheless, it was her home that she grew up in and she called it home.

    Since I found Beautiful, we’ve lived in several places, from a 3200 sq ft house to an 800 sq ft apartment, and she made them all home. Our hearts felt at home in all these places. We have made our house our home. Even though our parents houses will always have a piece of our heart, we have made our own home. A home that has those pictures of the grandparents hanging on the wall, a home that has dad’s tools in my shop, a place that’s every now and then is filled with the fragrance of Mom’s cooking.

    Yip, I’m home, and when I’m away, I can’t wait to get back to where I belong.

    • I feel the same way about the home Lon and I have made for ourselves.

      I don’t mind being a home body, do you? Unless I’m at work or working out at NorthPointe, most of the time I find happiness in our home.

      We’re lucky to have a place where we can find peace and solace.

      Nice submission, Walk.

  4. I tried to write a response, but about two paragraphs in I was overcome with emotion. That was a surprise. I put it away for now. I’ll go back and work on it another time, when I’m ready to see what all the fuss is about.

  5. Barbara Burris

    Walk, your home sounds so peaceful and happy. I feel warm hugs when you speak of it. I’m glad you found Beautiful!

  6. If I had a mansion high on a hill with a 360 degree view

    If it had seven bedrooms and eight baths

    If there was a kitchen with granite counter-tops and floor-to-ceiling windows

    If this manor had a library and a butler to serve me cognac in one of those
    fat glasses that you twirl round and round before sipping

    If maids scurried around with dust mops and Lysol

    If the cook was preparing dinner for 26 in the mahogany panelled dining room for
    the First Family and other VIPs

    If a Ferrari was waiting for me in the circular drive-way

    If my closet was bulging with spangly designer dresses and shoes

    If horses were in the stable

    and the hounds were ready for the hunt

    If you left

    It wouldn’t be home.

  7. I think you know your parents’ house is no longer your home when they give away all your stored stuff to Good Will or whatever. That’s when you might consider knocking before entering. There’s a transition there.

    • Barbara Burris

      We certainly enjoyed Alaska, Gully! We didn’t get as much free time to explore as we’d have liked, but did see some wonderful sights. We hiked a little in Denali and McKinley Parks and enjoyed seeing the beautiful flowers that grow wild there. We have some of the same flowers in our gardens, but we have to buy them. You live in an awesome place.

  8. Where is that place
    That is called “Home”?
    Is is physical
    Or could it be a poem?
    I’ve heard, many times before
    That it’s where the heart is.
    Thus, home is a poem.
    A letter, a prompt, show biz.
    It’s your lover’s eyes, a mystic.
    Granddaughter’s laugh,
    Mother’s embrace.
    Find your heart
    You’ll find your home.
    For home is really
    no physical place.

  9. Barbara Burris

    You know you’re home when…

    – you know where all the light switches are and what they’re for

    – you no longer notice the ‘new house’ smell when you walk in the door

    – you can identify most every neighbor within your block (or, in our case out in the country, within a mile)

    -If you also know their children’s names, give yourself a pat on the back! (If you know their dogs’ names, they’ll even go out of their way to bring you extra raspberries, tomatoes, peppers and squash when their crops come in!)

    – you can walk through the entire house in pitch darkness to close the window in the back bedroom without stubbing your toes once

    – you know if the garbage man is late

    – you know if the mailman is late (extra points if you know the substitute carrier is on)

    – someone in the neighborhood has a crisis and neighbors call on you to help out with dinners, babysitting or dog sitting

    – you crawl into bed at midnight, dog tired and the right husband (wife) is snoring so loudly you can’t sleep, so you pull your pillow out from underneath his (her) head, tiptoe through the house in pitch darkness to the back bedroom without stubbing your toes, and flop into bed turning the drool side of the pillow away from your face

  10. To me, home is not a place, but a person. At the risk of sounding sappy, home is wherever my husband happens to be. We’ve often spoken of this, as we tend to move every couple of years. We both have itchy feet, I think as a result of our families moving us around a lot as children. As long as my husband and I are together, everything else is superfluous.

    • Shell!
      I just read your short piece today and laughed my head off. That is not my usual reaction to working!

      I’m glad you found your way here. You’ll discover many good friends here–folks who have taken BWW and survived to tell the tale.

      I’ve been somewhat absent of late, but hope to post more soon. I hope you’ll check out the site regularly. It’s one more place to write for people who love to read.

      Welcome!

  11. Cliche…Home is where the heart is…well, at least my heart…that would be my wife, my life, my friend. When we are separated by necessity, reality bites. The rest of the time, we are together…if you see one of us and not the other, just turn around and look behind you.

  12. Will you know me when I’m passing by
    And beckon me to rest-
    Will you put your arms around me
    And smile as I draw near

    Will you tell me you’ve been waiting
    And beg me never leave-
    Will you make love to me at midnight
    And kiss me awake at daybreak

    Will I know the truth when you speak it
    And trust your softening silence-
    Will I cast my fears like skipping rocks
    When you whisper, ‘welcome home’.

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