Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Feels Like Home

Sometimes, before I fall asleep, I lie in bed and let my thoughts ramble. Sometimes I get ideas, sometimes I get a feeling, and sometimes I just lie there and listen to the house.

When we moved into our first house in Massachusetts I was surprised how long it took me to feel like it was home. I remember going out to the back yard that fall and lying under a maple trying to feel grounded in the place. A few winters later I remember standing on the deck listening to the trees cracking under an ice storm wondering what would be left. Over time that little house in that starter neighborhood became our home.

When we moved to South Carolina the new house was a totally different style. A beachy open floor plan, lots of light reflecting off the lake with plenty of sunshine and Palm trees. We painted her insides bright colors and kept things airy. For the first couple years I felt like I was living in someone else's vacation home. A mile from the Intracoastal and five miles from the beach . . . I had to pinch myself to think we actually lived there. But eventually it became home.

When we sold that house and built yet another I was excited about the Craftsman design we picked off a website. We made modifications that eventually turned it into a neo-Craftsman meets Low-Country style. We extended the left side to create an in-law suite where Mary's father now lives. I love the layout, the large front porch where we sit for coffee on weekend mornings, the bricked back patio where you can watch the birds take turns at the feeder, the wooden slat fence in the backyard, and the traditional winding neighborhood. At first it felt like we were little kids dropped into a grown-up's house. But it's starting to feel like home now. It may end up being my favorite yet, but I'll let you know.

We live in these structures. They become us and we become them as our lives unfold and change within these walls. We open them to our friends, we hide in them when we feel less social, and hopefully we create memories that will last long after. And sometimes, just sometimes, we have to lay in the backyard under the trees smelling the fall leaves to ground ourselves and feel we are truly home.

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