Sunday, March 6, 2011

Article for March 6th

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.2010_0130jan-late0189

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!)

lake house

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.

the kiddos

(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!



Kendall Welsh said...

OK - that was a great post....first crying at the thought of the girls and boy getting married at your house I love almost as much as you. Then laughing at that silly photo of our kids. Man, the memories around that house, the house we grew up in, vacationed in (both of them - first WV, then Northern Neck). I hope we are able to provide our kids with half the wonderful members our family has had together.

Anonymous said...

I am living in my forever home. First home, too. I was single until I was 35 and always dreamed of owning a "little old lady" house. Tiny and small with little upkeep and a cute yard. Once I got married and we realized we couldn't have children, we bought our home and it's a two bedroom tiny ranch with a lovely yard. It's one level and has an attached two car garage so we have no reason to ever leave. BUT....we just discovered seasonal camping two years ago. And living in a 30' trailer, paying out rent for the site and having only an electric bill and fuel for heat is EXTREMELY enticing. We are now thinking 6 months up here in New England and 6 months somewhere else (my preference is St. George, Utah!) and own two trailers. It's still in the dream stage right now. And giving up our perfect little home is tormenting me. We still have 10 years to plan this out, but with the economy and home overhead, we like knowing that we have options.

Stopping by from Citymouse. You have a new follower!!! ;-)

Auntie Bliss said...

I also found that blog this week!
I was so afraid reading it that she wouldn't make the move and was relieved when she did! Your home is beautiful, Paige :)
We are in our forever home. We built it 21 years ago. Come see us!

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