Saturday afternoon we pulled away from our home for the last time about 6:00 pm. We are now temporarily living at our lake house. As we prepared to leave I walked through the empty rooms one by one, opening closet doors to make sure everything was packed, checking the drawers to make sure we hadn’t skipped one and making sure every room was swept, vacuumed, and left looking neat. It was funny, even though the rooms were empty, in my mind’s eye I saw the home as it was all the years that it served as our haven, our refuge, and most importantly our family gathering place.
This is the home that my daughter got ready for her first day of high school, her first date, her prom. It is where we returned to and wept when she moved away to college.
Our son made neighborhood friends, rode bikes, played paintball in the woods near us and grew up to become a man in this home. This home was witness to his first day of junior high school, to his first date, and where we wept when we returned from taking him off to college.
The kids hated that we always had them stand in front of the fireplace for pictures at Christmas. I loved the tradition. The whole noisy family gathered here more than once for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. While we lived in this home we lost my grandmother, and both my in-laws. One of our last big events at the home was a bridal luncheon where I was able to introduce our new daughter in law to my friends.
My husband and I have learned to be empty nesters in the home. We have had the same neighbors on either side of us the entire 15 years. Our next door neighbor moved out literally the week before we did. Our neighbors across the street walked over before we left and brought us a gift. It was so sweet. I look forward to them visiting us soon. This is the last sappy blog for a while… I promise. I have so many new adventures coming as we prepare to move that I will not have time to be all weepy. I promise!
As I pulled away with the cat in her pet carrier screaming, my husband and dog in the truck loaded down and tears streaming down my face, I thought about the difference between a house and a home. I thought how funny that I never think in my head of the lake house, Star Hill, as our home. Lately I have jokingly told my friends that we are homeless. I guess right now, we really are. We have a house to live in, and we are buying a house but they are not our home yet. It is up to us to make our new place our home. We need to make a point of building those memories, meeting our new neighbors, and becoming a part of our new community. Home truly is where the heart resides.
The adventure continues!