Today is our one-year anniversary of moving to North Carolina from Texas. I can’t believe it’s been a year and I can’t believe how little I’ve done here. So many rooms to paint, so little time….. When we moved, I was in the middle of writing Cole Dempsey’s Back in Town . I mean, smack in the middle. I took six weeks off the book for the move. I did this huge throw-away binge at the old house before we moved (and my husband marvels at how we moved into a house nearly twice as large and yet I have already managed to clutter it up!). We spent weeks fixing up the old house, repainting, repairing, replacing, before we put it on the market. The sad thing is that when we visited later, the new people re-did almost everything we’d done. ::sob:: They painted the house white (WHITE!) inside and out and even tore out my rose bushes. (WHAT is wrong with them??)
My oldest son was five weeks old when we moved into that house. The hardest thing about moving was leaving all those sentimental memories of my babies in that house. The hallway they ran down on their chubby legs. The kitchen cabinet doors they pulled on until they fell off and had to be repaired. The swings they swung on and the slide they slid down. The trees they climbed and the dock out back where they conquered their fears to learn to dive in the lake. All the birthdays and Christmases and Thanksgivings. All the wails and the laughter. It’s all there in that house.
We’ve lived here a year now–in a house in many ways like the one we left, another house in a small town, on a lake, with two acres of yard, and yet different in a hundred ways—and we’ve made new memories and it feels like home…in a way. But there still isn’t enough history here. I miss the steeped memories of the old house. Can a house ever feel like home when it’s not the home you brought your babies to when they were a day old and fresh from the hospital? Even our first child, who was five weeks old when we moved in, was “born” there in a way. We were already getting ready to build the house when I knew I was pregnant. We stood on the ground where the house would be built when I first told my husband I was pregnant. It was the first house we ever owned, and we didn’t have much money when we built it so it was as much blood, sweat and tears that went into it as dollars. It was our house in a way I can’t imagine any other house being, even the “dream” house we moved into. You can see our old house in Texas in February 2004, not long before we moved, by clicking here , and our new house in North Carolina in April 2004, not long after we moved in, by clicking here .
North Carolina is beautiful and our new home is wonderful. With five of us, the old house was closing in on us, it was so small. But I miss living where my babies were babies . When I was a kid, we moved all the time. I never lived anywhere in my life more than five or six years, and mostly I lived places for no more than a year or two. Maybe that’s why living in our old house for thirteen years is still so hard to forget. I think, more than anywhere I’ve ever lived, that house will always be home in my mind.
Where is home to you?