As JR and I marched around the living room to Peter Gabriel’s Solsbury Hill, “pack your bags, I’m going to take you hooommmeee” blasted. James Robert was smiling broadly in the light of our living room, one month away from moving out of the only home he’s ever known. I saw, in that moment, that this house has given me a new perspective on the word.
I’ve been thinking a lot about home lately, the definition of it and what it means. Moving will trigger these thoughts. One particularly sleepless night, it dawned on me that in the last 10 years, I’ve claimed 8 addresses. Many of which I can’t recall their street name or numbers. However, there are a select few that will likely forever be easily remembered.
1018 East Thrid Street, my parents house where I prepared for my wedding, and my current address are places that have been home. The common thread being that these places have been a touchstone, a launch pad for growth and fostered life-long memories. But it’s more than that. They all provided the comfort and bone-deep satisfaction of belonging to a space.
Of all the homes I've known, this is the first of which that has had my name listed as owner. And that in and of itself puts this wonderful house into a special category.
Fast forward to moving day. I am typing this while surrounded by boxes. Paper is being stuffed and wrapped around my memories.
I have yet to leave, but I’m already nostalgic for 341 Glen Oaks. I’ll always remember the way I felt when walking inside for the first time. This place has love in its bones and you could feel it. The magnolia tree in the front yard was out of my dreams. The red exterior, the pineapple finials proudly atop the white fence, even the creak of the old floors makes this place feel like it has it’s own character. I feel lucky to have been a chapter it it’s life as it has been such a rich chapter in my own.
The gallons of paint we put into this place, not to mention the buckets of sweat equity! We put our loving stamp on it’s style, but it’s walls saw us transform in much greater ways.
We became a family in this home. My baby came home from the hospital through these doors. We forged friendships over countless meals in our kitchen. We cozied by the fire. We added patina to the floors with dance parties. We commemorated great experiences and supported each other through trials. This has been a place of such tremendous growth.
We have also been flanked by the most generous and wonderful neighbors you could dream of. How lucky to be taught the ways of Southern hospitality and graciousness by some of the best. They have become like family.
How fortunate to be endeared so greatly to a residence. I, no doubt, will forever be seeking an address that will engender a feeling of such great reverence. It is with a very heavy heart that I pass along the keys to this place.
While our roots no longer grow here, the gardenia in the back yard will hopefully bloom next year and speak to the gift I was given on my first mother’s day. It is my hope that our love also adds to the tapestry of this space. It will be missed dearly.
If home is where the heart is, a piece of mine will always live here.