For a little over a year I’ve been writing a column for our local newspaper (The Leaf Chronicle). I really enjoy the opportunity, but I also feel like I have been pouring so much into my weekly deadline that I’m left drained of creative juices for my blog.
So, I’ve decided to start posting a copy of my article to my blog.
While perusing my favorite blogs this morning, I read a post that moved me to tears. I have a blog friend who writes from her home in Maryland (the state where I was raised for nearly 15 years) under the pseudonym “City Mouse.” She’s married to “Country Mouse” and has five children—one son serving in Iraq. She loves R.E.M and coffee. We have a lot in common!
In her most recent post she wrote about the decision to buy her parents’ home in 2006. She shared her thoughts about living in a house where she had already created so many memories. As I read, I thought about her anxiety—what a daunting task it must be to occupy and own the house which (in your memory) belongs to your parents and your siblings. She mentioned that she and her husband had always loved the house, but had discussed what they would do to improve it for their use. They’ve now been living there for nearly 5 years. I wonder if they feel like the home belongs to them.
I have that feeling in our house. We’ve been here almost 9 years, yet there are days that I walk up to it and feel like a visitor. Our house has been on First Street for about 130 years—a lot of residents have come and gone through the doors of our house. My dream, however, is that we’re the last family to live here.
When we bought this house, Darren was an active duty service member with a minimum of seven years left until retirement. As it turns out, he served nine more years and officially retired March 1st of this year. So, after 22 ½ years of PCS moves and deployments “we” have retired. The beautiful thing is we’re already living where we intend to spend the rest of our lives!
It is from this house on First Street that we will launch three children into the world. It’s to this house we hope they will always return. It’s in this house we hope to dress two brides and one groom. We plan to watch grandchildren play in this yard; in short, we plan to grow old right here on First Street. (Of course, we’d love to have a lake house and a boat for the weekends and summers!)
Just in case you’re wondering, my point is, many of us still hold on to the basic premise that “home is where the heart is.” We raise our families and create memories, but does it really matter where this all happens? Do the rooms of your home have a sacred hold on those memories? My feeling is that they’re part of the events and the memories, but they’re not the vessel—your heart is. That’s where we hold the good stuff; okay, technically, it’s our head, but that’s less poetic—I’m getting deep here!
While I imagine our children fighting over who gets to live in this house when Darren and I have moved into Uffelman’s Estate or Rocking Horse Meadows, in the end it’s just a house. We’ve made the memories and they will stay with us and our children no matter who is living in this house on First Street. Perhaps it’s all of the moves we’ve made in with the Army, but as much as I love this house and would hate to leave it, it’s just a shelter.
(only three of them are ours, but these are the memories I’m talking about!)
How about you? Are you in your “forever house?” If not, what do you dream of? I’d love to hear from you. Be sure to check out Citymouse and her thoughts on the matter.
Thanks for your indulgence!