This post is dedicated to Eden, who has such an amazing blog and recently challenged everyone to share about their homes.
The first home I lived in until I was around age 4 or so. I have some dim memories of a tiny ranch home, sharing bunk beds with my sister, getting my finger caught in a mouse trap (who wouldn't go for the cheese right there on the floor?), a kitchen fire (blaze, in my memory, but a mere burnt roast according to my Mom), and not much more.
The family moved about a mile away to a larger home, where we all grew up, and my parents still live today. I consider myself so lucky have the chance to return occasionally and visit. When I go back to that house, I can sit quietly in a room and run through seemingly thousands of memories that play through my head like a B movie that was directed by someone with a severe case of ADD. I smile to myself and remember so much - the good, the bad, the embarrassing. Friends and family who came to visit, dinner parties hosted by my parents (with loud singing keeping me up all night), Holiday picnics, deciding what color to paint the house every few years, dogs that we owned, childhood friends and boyfriend drama all swim through my mind in a blended mess of memories. Ahhh - good times.
My next home was an apartment after I was married - 600 miles away from "home". Living so far away forced us to rely on ourselves and newfound friends. It was a good thing, no calling Mom or Dad to borrow a shovel, or fix the pipes. We were on our own and loving it. We adapted to a new life, a new part of the country, and learned a lot about ourselves.
But we needed to be near a larger city so we bought our first home about 20 minutes away. A ranch, with 3 bedrooms and a big yard for kids and dogs. That is the home where our kids enjoyed their early years, with plenty of neighborhood kids to play with and the elementary school close by. I discovered that I didn't like yard work as much as I thought I might, we found out a wet bar wasn't all it was cracked up to be, and snakes scared the crap out of me more times than I care to admit (including one in the house - NOT cool!). We had awesome neighbors who patched our roof when Hurricane Hugo roared through and we were out of town. We all played volleyball in the neighbor's yard almost every weekend, had neighborhood pig roasts, watched each other's children start school and almost started a house fire with fireworks. Yeah, we had fun.
But that house grew too small for 2 adults, 3 kids, 2 dogs and 1 cat. We sold it and moved to our present home, where everyone has their own room, and there's a great space we like to call the bonus room that is perfect for storing all of our junk that we can't part with despite the fact that we don't even remember what all is there. The yard is big enough for kids and dogs (and one homicidal cat who has a tendency to sever the heads of bunnies clean off, but who is now banned from going outside, so the yard is full of bunnies once again), the yard is also fenced so our dogs can run and play with said bunnies and each other, the kitchen is large enough for the entire family to hang out, laugh, and share memories of good times we've had.
I now realize that I didn't leave "home" way back when I was married. I am home now. Creating the very same feeling for my kids as my parents did for me. Though two have left for college, and the last will leave next year, they will always return to the place that fills them with love and that indescribable feeling that can only be called home.
Thanks Eden - that was fun and well worth the wonderful memories!