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.