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Day 8: H is for House–or Home

April 10, 2015

I’ve lost count of all the houses where I’ve lived. I think of those birds that always move into nests abandoned by other birds.  Moving has always run in the family.  I can’t even imagine living a whole life in one house, though plenty of my childhood friends’ parents are still at those same address I know by heart–Davis Street, Conway Drive. . .

Since Daddy was a preacher, we moved to a new preacher’s home every time he changed churches.  One had a cow in the field just over the fence. One house–where my sister Amy and I sat on the back porch eating watermelons in our undies, faces planted into the sweet melon–had a rat living behind the kitchen stove.  The house on Alabama Street had the best trees for climbing, the best neighborhood streets for riding bikes, the most kids our ages. We always heard from the church folks about the families who’d lived there before us.  Fern, the last preacher’s wife, was a hard act to follow, especially for my mother with a new baby–her fourth–and no car.  The next folks we followed hadn’t believed in decorating for Christmas, never opened the curtains on the windows. We were a blessed relief.

I was a young teenager by the time my parents bought a home of their own. We lived there twice. It’s the home I left when I headed to college, the one where my husband picked me up for our first date. In between, we had the farmhouse–bees living between the walls, leaving sticky honey, toilets that ran brown when we flushed.

After I married, we continued the pattern, building our first house, and selling it by our first anniversary, to build another.  Not until we moved to North Carolina did we stay in a house for my lifetime record–twelve years.  Now we’re looking at pulling up roots and moving again.  I love this house, and I dread the winnowing process, the packing–before that, keeping the house ready to show potential buyers.  The good news, though, is that a house has always been just a house.  Home is where I live with the man I married thirty-eight years ago.  When I move, he’ll come along. He’ll have his recliner. I’ll have my books. We’ll have music–and when we get closer to them, the next house will echo with the sounds of our grandchildren.

Most of the things that make my house a home aren’t things at all. They aren’t things that money can buy at least.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 10, 2015 4:57 am

    We’re close again in topic. I wrote about Hotels I Have Known . . . sort of like houses or homes. Love this one!!

  2. April 10, 2015 1:26 pm

    Love this, although I don’t envy you moving. Winnowing and packing are the worst.

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