10/29/09

Home

Thursday~October 29, 2009

We looked at six houses yesterday and we'll see five more tomorrow. In and out of the car, shoes off and then back on, opening drawers and closets in other people's homes. We're here in the place where I grew up, storing up knowledge on any house of interest, keeping track, discussing floor plans while the wheels turn on the car and in our heads between stops.

Here we are in this place that's not our home, looking at homes to make our home, away from our current home while staying in my childhood home.

Speaking of home, I watched a re-run of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in my Dad's recliner last night. I thought about what it must be like to have this magnificent house built for you, how you'd be so overcome with emotion at the beauty of the new, and then the cameras would leave and you'd go to bed and wait for this new place to feel like home. I'm guessing it takes a little while for that to happen, a person looking around at all the crisp and clean, the perfectly decorated, feeling thankful and out of place at the same time.

I spent more than eighteen years in the house I'll be sleeping in tonight. I've returned for visits more times than I can count since I moved out. It's home. I still take the stairs two at a time even though I don't do that anywhere else because I can't stop the childhood habit. I look out the window at the same trees and smell familiar smells. Some things have changed, been updated, but to me it's almost completely the same. The home that was my home. What made it my home then and keeps it my home now is it's familiarity. It's the sameness that's a haven. The way my dad sits at the end of the big wood table with his cup of coffee. The way my mom always stands at the sink washing the dishes and yelling out the window at the squirrels jumping from the deck to the bird feeder. The dilly bars always in the freezer. The way the driveway starts to turn in the middle, passing the horses and leading to home.

My Dad built this house when I was three. I'm so connected to this place and the people in it, I still feel safe here. There have been times I've been very lost in my life, but I've always been able to come home.

I think that's what I want for my boys, a place for us to settle and stay. I want a home for our family, one we know we are going to see through. The kind of home that is so familiar that our boys can't help but take the steps two at a time to do what they've always done, rounding the corner to the kitchen to find their mom doing dishes and a little jig.

If we sell our house or not, I just want to stay there or here, moving through rooms until our roots are buried somewhere so deeply we never feel too lost to come home. It doesn't really matter where, I suppose, since it's the people in it that make a house come alive with that feeling of home.

59 clicked right here to comment:

Keyona said...

I know the feeling. We make a house a home with love. I hope you find the perfect house and make it a home for you and your family.

Sarah said...

Oh I love this post. Dad at the wooden table with a cup of coffee. Bittersweet for me since my dad died 10 years ago - and I don't often think of these memories, the common ones, the smell of his coffee and the crinkle of his newspaper at the end of the wooden table. And my mother has moved. My childhood home no longer exists. And I miss all the feelings it instilled in me. All the memories that were relived each time I visited after leaving.

I love this post. Love love love. And... you are right. You will build a home by burying your own roots. It will be so comforting. But even if you have to move again in 5 years or 10, your boys will ALWAYS know what "home" means, because their mama certainly does.

Patois said...

I'm a military brat. All those words you string together above? That's what I want for my children. Eight years in one house. And climbing.

Marketing Mama said...

It's strange being in the middle of the process, but you'll end up somewhere that will feel like home - because you'll all be together.

Love your new profile pic, by the way. :)

Billy Coffey said...

Oh my, Heather. This is so true and so good. It doesn't take much effort to have a house, but it takes so much to have a home. And I don't doubt that's just what you'll have.

Tiaras said...

that was so lovely! I moved out of my parents house when I was 18 and have never returned - my brother told me that about 5+ years ago the property was bought and the house was torn down to build condo (HUGE LOT). Oh well!

Emma said...

I agree completely, I lived in my child hood house for 18 years also. I love it every thing about it.

The house we live in now I don't love i want a house that I feel like I can sty in for a long time.

I hope you find what your looking for!

C @ Kid Things said...

I used to feel like that about my parents' home as well. I spent more than 18 years there. Things changed, however, and it no longer feels like home. I still have a sense of safety, though, that I don't have anywhere else.

Haley said...

These thoughts are very deep and special.

Thank you for sharing them here.

Crooked Eyebrow said...

What a wonderful post.I am missing my childhood home now. It's like I can still smell it and see it.

thanks.

Boy Crazy said...

This reminded me so much of my family and the house I grew up in (where I still take the stairs two at a time). ;) It was serendipitous reading this today - just last night at my contemplative writing workshop I wrote about roots, about my childhood home. I love it when similar themes pop up in different corners of my life. Really beautiful images here, Heather.

Kelly said...

We moved so much as a child and teenager that I never felt connected to a certain place. Then there was college and grad school and living wherever was the next cheapest option.

Now I dream about a Home for our family -- somewhere that's ours and where we can measure height against doors or hang pictures that don't need to easily come down.

But, yes, what I learned all those years ago that Home is not a house, it's the family who lives there.

Kristina P. said...

I have to admit, I was always so jealous of my friends who grew up in the same house their entire life.

H-Mama said...

How lovely, Heather. Wonderful memories. That's the bottom line, huh?

Sabrina said...

I still miss my childhood home that I lived from age 5 until 18.
Sometimes, just so I don't forget that house, I do a mental run through of every room, noting the color of the carpeting, how it was decorated and any unique features in that room.
I loved that house.

K and/or K said...

Stability. Some find it boring. But there is no better feeling.

Lara said...

I feel just the same way about my childhood home. I will absolutely die if my parents ever decide to move.

Good luck finding a home that will be yours.

maggie said...

I'm a military brat - no childhood home for me. I think the reason I'm dying to move out of this house isn't just because we're growing out of it, but because I want to find that FOREVER house. I need that house. I loved seeing all the places I got to see growing up, but I want my kids to have a forever house. I CRAVE that house.

Jen said...

Loved this line, 'our roots are buried somewhere so deeply we never feel too lost to come home' that is how I feel about my life and you know what, its a really good thing.

Deb said...

although i totally can NOT relate to your living in one home all your life, i can relate to the sentiment of this post. deep, unwavering, unconditional roots are what i want for my kiddos, too.

Tooj said...

There is something to be said for familiarity, comfort, and smells. You'll find what you're looking for, even if U2 didn't.

minnesotamom said...

All my childhood memories are of my parents' home, where we moved when I was 3. Mom still lives there (Dad's gone), and even though things have changed, those memories are buried deep!

I chuckled when you mentioned the stair-skipping, because home is the only place I ever do it, too.

Jessica said...

You're looking at houses! That is exciting! I hope you find the perfect one and that your house sells . . . I know what a trying time that can be. I was just thinking along those lines this morning, what is home? You've expressed it beautifully.

wonder woman said...

I want a home like that, too. The one that will be home -- the one where your grandkids will come to visit. How exciting that you're looking for that home.

My parents looked for that home for nearly three years. But when we walked into our home, we knew. I was only 11, but I KNEW it was our home. My parents and brother were the same way. So stick with it. When you find it, you'll know.

p.s. I still take my parent's stairs two at a time, too, even though my legs are too old to do it. I can't break the habit.

Becca said...

As an Army brat child (light on the Army, heavy on the Brat) I moved around enough that it wasn't really such a big deal to me that in out first 7 years of marriage, my Husband and I lived in 11 different places (counting anywhere we unpacked the kitchen, even if only for a month or two). But now we've lived in one house for more than 8 years, and I'm still waiting to feel at HOME. But as long as we're all together, it matters very little WHERE.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Imagine how happy that home will be when you find it, and it finds you.

Steph

Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

It is hard trying to find that perfect place, especially when you are looking for a place to stay for always. I agree with some of the other commenter's though, home will be where the four of you are together.

Heather of the EO said...

Yes, and I hope that came through with this post. What I really love about my childhood home is my dad at the table and my mom yelling at the squirrels (and other things they do, of course...other than squirrel yelling and coffee drinking.) It's home because they're here. That's what I want for my boys too. Our family (the actual people) making a home. It's just nice to imagine keeping roots in one place for many years. You just never know though...life is surprising. We may move over and over, I just hope, for my boys, that wherever we are will feel like Home.

Mama B said...

I didn't feel that way about my childhood home, but I did feel that way about my husband home (where he grew up). We have been in our house for a year know and I am waiting to feel like its "ours" but that feeling of roots is something I'm hoping for even more.

CC said...

Wow. To be in a home that your dad built? Incredible. I hope you find that "home to come home to". When we bought our place 8 years ago, I thought it would be "for a few years". Now, I'm wondering if I was wrong about that. ;)

charrette said...

I have a hunch you are just the type of soul who could make ANY place a home!

Beautiful post.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Oh my stinkin' word.

I completely get this post. And while I'm also lusting over a place to put down roots, I'm not sure if that's the path for us. It's a struggle. (You've raised so many thought threads in my head here I'm probably going to have to do a "join the discussion" post of my own. I'll let you know when/if it makes it to the blog.)

L.T. Elliot said...

You described so perfectly what it feels like to go home. It feels like forever. It feels like roots. It feels like cozy and love and safe.
I want that for my family too. Good luck on your search. God bless.

Kim said...

I love this so much Heather. I often longed for that home that you talk about. The house my folks live in now none of their children have ever lived in. I lived in 3 different houses and towns, and states for that matter, growing up. The one constant for me was my Grandma's house. When she died, it just killed me to know I'd never walk through those doors, never run up the stairs from the basement (from the monsters that lived down there) swim in her pool or just be there with her.
I so understand this. I want the same thing you do. I want to grow old somewhere and for my children to know that it is always their home.

I will tell you this though...it doesn't matter if you grow up there or not, it is your home. I can go to my Mom and Dad's house right now and feel so completely at home even though I've never lived there. I think more than walls and floors and ceilings, it's the people inside that make it a home.

sara said...

I also lived in the same home all my life and I so wanted that for my children...God had other plans. We have moved 4 times in my children's lives. Though my current house is not the house my daughter grew up in, she can't wait to get here from college. why? because it is where WE are....the ones who love her. Because there are 4 sets of arms to hug her when she gets here. Because there are all the same smells in the kitchen as I fix her favorite foods. because our favorite board game will be pulled out while she's here. Because it is filled with love, familiarity and God!!

Corinne said...

We moved around quite a bit growing up, and while it always felt like home, I always wondered what it would feel like to have that one house to go back to. My parents are nomadic, to say the least...

You'll find it. And the boys will know where home is, always.

Kristen@nosmallthing said...

My parents still have my childhood home, too. It seems so different now. But still home. The same bones, the same people, the same sounds. The memories.

I don't know what I'll do when they leave that place.

deb said...

a haven in the sameness.
consistency of love, forgiveness, acceptance, support. I didn't grow up knowing it, but I hope my children feel it now, and will forever. In all the blood, sweat , and tears of our family building.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

That's so cute that you still take the stairs two at a time. I ignore my parents trying to talk to me while I watch TV. Who says you can't go home!

Jamie @ Six Bricks High said...

I'm sure that no matter where you are you are going to an excellent job of creating a 'home' for your family.

Kazzy said...

Get those roots in there, girl! Home is wherever your kids remember feeling love. You are already there.

Terresa said...

Thoughts on house buying and moving and roots. It's all here in this post.

I like, "It doesn't really matter where, I suppose, since it's the people in it that make a house come alive with that feeling of home." So true.

Whenever I visit my parent's home (the one I spent a better part of fifteen years growing up in), if no one is home, I find myself restless, looking for family members who should be rooted there like the carpets and stairs. They are not. But, for me, home is not home when they are not in it.

Chief said...

What a great way of thinking about the process of looking for a house. It is somewhere you kids will remember and think about when holidays come and go in the adulthood. What an exciting journey!

DeNae said...

I always expected that my kids would have MY childhood: Grow up in the same house forever. But our lives have taken a very different path, and I'm sad that my kids don't have a "childhood home" per se.

However, I can guarantee you, a loving family - no matter what walls surround them or for how long - is all the home children ever need.

We could wind up in a tent under the viaduct, and I know my kids would still come "home" when they needed to feel loved and secure.

So Heather, I promise...your kids are already home. With you.

Melanie J said...

I don't if it's been said already, but one of the truest adages of all times is that home is where the heart is. And vice versa. I've been happy in every place I've lived as long as I was with my family.

mama-face said...

Beautiful thoughts about your home as a child. I take the stairs two at a time; it feels good for some reason.

But, it really is true. As long as you are together, the house is really secondary. I know a lot of people who make the 'house' their first priority. This is just my opinion, but making people take off their shoes when they come to visit? It's only carpet.

Okay, this absolutely does not apply at all to showing your house and or looking at other houses to buy.

What a bunch of scattered thoughts/comments. oops.

blueviolet said...

This makes sense to me. We've moved 17 times and we've been here for the last 10 years. I always said when the kids graduated HS we'd move. Well, they've graduated but this is home and home feels good. I can't take their sense of home away.

Kimberly said...

I have had that exact same thought when watching Extreme Makeover. The EXACT.

And I'm currently in my childhood home...where I too like to take the stairs two at a time (usually, not so much during this visit, of course).

It really is the people...but it's the time too. The time it takes to make the memories that the people who make home...well...home...come to share with each other.

Blessed said...

I know exactly what you are talking about. At Christmas I'm going home... to the home my grandparents bought in 1957. My Grandma is 90 now, when she passes on the house will have to be sold - it's in Berkeley CA, no one can afford to keep it. And I'm going to be so sad when that day comes.

The Rambler said...

Ditto!

I moved around a lot because of my parents job. Although that experience was an opportunity not many adults get to indulge in, I do really miss coming home to a home that houses memories of a first bike ride, trick or treating with the neighbors kids who's become like my dr. now, and the tree dad built my first tire swing.

That is what I want to give my daughter. Her safe place that will be called her home.

GREAT post!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

How did I miss thatyou are moving? Back to the hometown we talked about when we got together? That same one?

Eowyn said...

My parents have a house like that. Comfortable and safe.

I want to give that to my kids, unfortunately, that's not the way it seems to be happening for us just yet. I'm hoping though.

Aunt LoLo said...

*sigh* that sounds lovely..and reminds me of my grandparents home.

S'dizzle said...

HOT new pic!

The house I grew up in doesn't feel as much like "home" as the house that my mom bought years after she moved out. I suppose because when my stepmother moved in she made it her "home" and it just doesn't feel the same.

Anywho, it'll be sad not having you close by even though we don't see you all that often. Hoping you'll still be able to make a book club or two.

Mammatalk said...

Beautiful. My heart broke when my mom sold my childhood home. It really had roots. But, I have learned roots can grow elsewhere, too.

Btw, that new pic of yours is so lovely!

Kelly Langner Sauer said...

oh, the uncertainties of walking in faith by His leading and leaving tomorrow in His hands... We're in our fourth rental since we got married four years ago, with not enough income to buy and a second baby coming so that we'll need to move again sometime next year. We have no idea where that will be. I know what you're hoping for with that stay...

ZDub said...

I try to remind myself that we are a family and our home is wherever we are, but I want the kids to feel secure and not move every year.

I'm in the same boat, we are renting out our house and renting a bigger house so my mom can get back on her feet. It is so frustrating. And depressing. I just wanna go home.

Riley Worth said...

Heather, are you looking at moving to the city on the pond?

AmyLK said...

Home is where the heart is and any house with 4 walls and a roof for protection can be made into a wonderful home with fabulous memories for the kiddos.

Good luck with the search

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