Lately I’ve been thinking about what defines a home.
Not a house, but a home. You see my husband and I have just moved into a new (old) home. We purchased a single-level house we can grow old in and hopefully remain in our house for a long time. Surprisingly I’ve discovered a growing fondness for the grab bars in the bathrooms—who knew what joy a grab bar could give? Unfortunately, the house needs remodeling. The previous owners had a penchant for wallpaper on the ceilings. What is up with that? Here’s a picture of the garden growing on my new kitchen ceiling.
So my husband and I are currently surrounded by our “stuff” hidden in boxes and piled high in the dining room. Our furniture is packed into the living room, all to make room for remodeling.
For some reason, this house does not yet feel like home. Why? Is it because I am surrounded by someone else’s taste in decorating? Is it because my beloved Danish Modern items are hidden away? Or is it because I miss our old house of fifteen years? My husband is here, so it should feel like home. But instead, it feels like a hotel in Scotland with questionable wallpaper (spend some time staying at Scottish B&Bs and you know what I mean).
What makes a place home? Many find comfort in communities of shared interest, like retirement communities. Some call a place home because their family and friends are nearby. Or they have lived in the same place for a long time and love their town or city.
Several days after we moved in, came the first anniversary of my father’s death. My mother now lives in a one-bedroom penthouse suite in a retirement community. Her apartment is beautiful and it looks out over Mission Bay in San Diego. She is a very social person and enjoys the arranged events in her community. She seems happy. So I asked her if it felt like home to her. She said, “No. No place will ever be home again because your father is not here.”
My heart broke a little.
So I returned Home and embraced my wallpaper in my new home. It’s home because my husband is here. I cherish that.
What makes a place a “home” for you?