Friday, February 22, 2013

Hearts and Homes

It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.   - Anonymous

I've never been very sentimental about houses.  To me a house is a collection of things - wood, nails, glass and paint.  A home is what you make with your family.  When you pack up your belongs  from one place, home goes along with you in your heart, to be unpacked in your new place.  I just can't relate to friends who sigh and say how much they are going to miss their house when they move.  Maybe it's because I enjoy change.  We moved four times in the first four years we were married, and we've lived in eight different houses all together.  We're working on getting into number nine this year.  

The process has been a little stressful and Monday morning I dreamed the realtor called and told me "You're listing your house tomorrow."  The thought of that made my husband and I laugh when I told him about it at breakfast.  It seems like there's still lots of little things left to do. The next day, my realtor really did call.  She told me she had a client who was really interested in looking at the house, even though it wasn't listed yet.  I did as much prep as I could all day Wednesday and right up until 5:45 Thursday when our realtor and the "buyer" were due to arrive.  Though I wasn't expecting an offer, I thought it would be a good opportunity to get some input before putting the final touches on our reno.

I was sweeping the front step when the empty swing hanging from our spruce tree caught my eye. The memory of our daughter playing on it when she was five came to mind and suddenly my chest tightened, my nose prickled and my eyes welled up.  

I blinked back the tears and as my gaze drifted up towards the top of the tree I was reminded of the time our son bolted out the front door telling me he was running away when he was about eight.   After I waited as long as I could bear, I ran out after him, head swivelling, calling his name.  He was no where to be seen and I felt a sudden rush of panic.  Then I heard giggling from high above me.  That memory blurred my vision as well and I headed quickly into the house, baffled by this surprising turn of events.

Looks like I am going to miss this house.  I guess it's not that surprising when I realize we've been here for seventeen years come July.  An awful lot of memories are storied within these walls. Our children grew up here, and we did too.  Four people, four dogs and three cats have made this house a home.  It's seen us through driver training and puppy training, late nights and early mornings, tattoos and piercings, Death Metal and Goth.  We've struggled together through challenging times and cherished each other through the good. 

When I pack up my heart to take to our new home, I think there might just be a little bit of it left behind after all.


Click to read last year's post on this date: "Where All Good Things Must Come to An End".

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