Warning: Sappy, sentimental post to follow!
This year, we have a brand new house. Our starter home, which we adored, sold within 48 hours of going on the market! While that was wonderful, it also meant that we had 30 days to pack up and leave. We had to be out of our house by the end of June 2016, and our new house would not be finished until around Thanksgiving 2016. My father was a huge blessing to us. He offered to let my little family move in with him while our house was under construction.
We spent five months in my childhood home. While it definitely had its stressful moments (no wonder, when you put 3 adults, 1 toddler, 3 cats, and 1 dog under one roof), I will always cherish the memories we made there. Bella got to experience a bit of her childhood under the same roof where I was raised. She climbed the same steps, played on the same playground, and slept in the same room as me when I was a child. The added significance was that she was surrounded by my Mom’s things. My mom died 4 years ago. I had just discovered that we were expecting one week before she passed away. She never got to meet our daughter, but she did know that Bella was on the way, and it gave her hope and joy during a very dark time. So, having Bella live in my parents’ house, surrounded by my Mother’s favorite treasures, like her Fenton basket collection and all of her intricate cross stitches, made me happy. It felt like Bella was getting to know my Mom in a way that could not have happened had we not stayed in her house. My Mom was so much a part of that house, even after she was gone, that Bella started asking questions and wanting to know more about “Grandma Belle.” While Bella has always adored my dad, she also got to know the grandmother who would have loved her so much!
We moved into our new home a couple weeks before Christmas. We had fun decorating for that holiday, but I was excited to decorate for fall, since it’s my very favorite time of the year!! I was so anxious, in fact, that we started decorating in early September. My Dad complained that it wasn’t officially fall yet. Didn’t matter to me. Starbucks was selling pumpkin spice lattes, so in my book, it was fall! I love walking into my home and seeing the leaves, pumpkins, and even a hay bale! At the end of a long day, I’ll put on a pot of coffee (I drink it all day long), turn on an autumn spice candle, and enjoy the atmosphere. That atmosphere that I’m talking about usually involves a happily laughing child, a greyhound rooing in the background, and three cats chasing each other through the rooms. That’s home to me!
Just about a year and a half after we sold our starter home, my dad sold my childhood home, a home that he had shared with my Mother for over 38 years. He actually bought a townhouse in the same neighborhood where we live. While I was sad to see the house sold, I know it was for the best. A split foyer with a large backyard and quite a few oak trees is not the best piece of property for an older person. Dad is thrilled with his new home, and he brought Mom’s basket and cross stitch collection with him to his new place. The old adage really is true: A house is just made up of walls and floors. It’s the love, laughter and joy shared within those walls that makes a house a home. Thankfully in my family, we have plenty of that to go around!