Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What "Home" Means to Me

by Terri

Our focus this month is on Home and this got me thinking about the way the word “home” strikes a chord in all of us. One of the definitions is: 

"The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household."

For me, I never felt I would live anywhere “permanently”. When I was growing up, my family moved around a lot. Until I was in high school, we never lived in the same place for longer than a year or two. I was always the “new kid” and I think that shaped my personality in ways that might have been different if I had lived in the same place during my growing-up years. My husband was an "army brat" who probably moved as much or more than I did. We both knew we didn't want that for our children.

We bought our first house right after our first son was born. By the time our family had grown to three sons, we decided to build our forever home. That is the home you see in the photo above.  When we were building this house, our oldest son was just starting first grade and, because I didn’t want him to start at one school and then have to move to a different school when our house was done, I drove him 30 minutes each way to school every morning for three months with a four-year-old and a newborn in tow. But I was determined my kids would start and stay at the same school if at all possible. I wanted them to be able to make and keep the same friends from Kindergarten through high school, and they did.

Twenty-eight years later, we still live in this same home and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. This is where our boys grew up and where all the memories are. This is where they learned to ride their bikes in the cul-de-sac in front of our house and made forts in the desert. This was the site of many birthday parties in our backyard pool, not to mention all the Christmas memories made here. This is where they and their friends hung out in high school, playing video games and eating pizza. This is where all of their heights are marked on the wall behind the door in the laundry room, from the time they were small until they were grown men. Through several house repaintings, I have never let anyone touch that wall.

In looking through my old photo albums, this is the earliest photo of our house that I could find, taken in the summer of 1986, about six months after we moved in:

There has been quite a change in the landscaping (not to mention the boys!) in that period of time but one thing that hasn’t changed – this is HOME.  As our quote in the Monthly Focus tab above says, “Home, that our feet may leave but not our hearts.”

Have you lived in the same place for a long time or have you moved around a lot in your life? Share your stories in the comments section as well as some photos in the Flickr gallery of what home is to you. We would love for you to share your thoughts and views of Home.


Dotti said...

This is such a parallel to my own story and what "home" means to me, Terri. When I was a child, my family moved frequently, too; three years was a long stay for us. I totally get that "new kid" thing. We bought our home 28 years ago last month, when our daughter was 7, following my husband's job transfer. We decided then that we were staying put because we also wanted our daughter to have a sense of permanence and "roots". The landscaping and interior are totally different, our daughter is now grown ... but we haven't changed a bit! :-)

janel said...

What a wonderful post..and wonderful photo of you and the boys. My experience is so different...we lived in the same house until I was in high school, then we moved to a new state and I lived in that house until college., and my parents stayed in that house until they passed away...so memories for me are rooted in two houses. I can still visualize where every thing was in both of the houses...the smells, the wallpaper, the details...still very vivid to me. And I love that it was this way. Our kids have lived a similar experience.. 2 houses . Thanks for triggering lots of memories.

Judith Harding said...

Beautiful post, Terri
Just coincidentally, I recieved this poem this morning from a cousin I have never met and recently have been in touch with:
The street, the yard, the house are there,
all smaller than they used to be,
except the trees planted long ago,
now towering over my memory.

I set them gently in the earth,
imagining their future height
extending like the tiny leaves
toward nourishing sunlight.

Like childhood dreams, the saplings grew
but gave no comfort to my heart
when shadows lengthened on the house
and my family came apart.

I left them then, not looking back,
hoping for better times ahead,
finding as days turned into years,
my perceptions changed instead.

The joys and pains of life are there,
rooted deep like maple trees,
not in the house but in the soil
of vivid childhood memories.

Home beckons and my heart beguiles
but years are farther than the miles.

1997 Kim Gunter

Kim Stevens said...

Home for me has been in many places, both growing up and with my own children. Sometimes life circumstances just don't afford us the opportunity to stay in one place. But I have learned and my children now have learned that home is simply where you are. I had a girlfriend once tell me, that if I just remembered that nothing ever stays the same, I would be just fine. She's right really, but the only change I do like is the kind that I get to choose! haha

http://vivhalliwell.com said...

Lovely post Terri I would love to see a photo of you and your boys now....

heyjudephotography said...

I love the photo of you and your sons. I never moved until I was married, then moved several times since then. But we've been in our current home for 15 years, and in this area for over 20 - so this is "home" to me. My parents, and all of my siblings, still live in the town we grew up in, so I visit it often. I guess you could say that my heart is in two places.

kelly said...

such a beautiful home terri! and i do so love that photo of your and your boys. i feel the same way about our home and although we haven't lived it nearly as long as you have yours, we've made so many special memories here. thank you for sharing this part of your life here today.

Linda said...

Wel, I seem to have a major problem with moving! I can move house to house but not state to state! Or even city to city within the same state! It's the memories that hold onto me so tightly! And the people that made the memories with me!

So sweet you still have the growth charts on your wall!

What a cute flock of tow-heads you had! 3 boys! whew! I need a nap now just thinking about that!

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