I suppose most people think of their house as bricks, mortar, plaster, wood and paint. Four walls and a roof. A place to live. That's it. I have lived in the same house all of my life and my house means so much more to me than that. It means home.
If you look behind a door in my family room you'll see where my mom measured how tall my brothers and I were. Our height is written in pencil with the year on the wall. I remember being supported against the wall while my height was recorded. Numbers and initials that wouldn't mean anything to anyone else, but they mean something to me and I find comfort in knowing they are there.
Thanksgiving was a joint effort between my mother and grandmother. (Really all holidays were a joint effort between them.) It meant getting out the big Nesco cooker to cook the bird in. One year, the turkey was so big, the lid had to be tied down.
Christmas is different now. If I close my eyes I see the living room all decorated and the big Christmas tree in front of the picture window. i remember the year my dad got one of those silver trees with the rotating color wheel. My dad thought it looked great. My older brothers were horrified. Christmas Eve they brought home the discarded tree from the neighborhood school. It was HUGE and seemed to cover half of our family room because it came out so far, but we had a green tree that year. it was great!!
Easter meant my mom's Easter lamb cake. It was a two day process. One day to bake them in a cast iron mold that was given to my grandfather and was almost as old as my mother. The second day she iced and decorated them.
My last birthday party was given to me when I was ten years old. My cake had a ballerina figurine on it and my mom got a clown to entertain me and the other children. (never liked clowns, but this one was okay.)
My mom thought about moving when I graduated from high school. Instead she just made the house more accessible for me.
I close my eyes and I see everything. The memories comfort me and bring me peace. Living in the house I grew up in has allowed me to be able to function and build a life for myself since my mothe's death two and a half years ago. If I hadn't stayed in my house, I don't know if I would have made it. I know nothing lasts forever, but I do know wherever I go in the future, the house i grew up in will always be home to me.