Sometimes I find it odd that I’m in the business of selling homes but only feel as though I’ve ever lived in two real homes. After countless moves throughout my childhood, I’ve found that it takes time to turn a house into a home. It takes memories, of both positive and challenging times. I’ll be heading back to Dearborn, Michigan in a couple of weeks, where as they say I was “born and raised,” for my nephew’s graduation from the University of Michigan. My parents, both educators, started our family off in a post-WWII brick bungalow where I would live my first four years. It was a neighborhood that all kids loved, with homes filled with children of all ages so that we often roamed from one home to the next. We had one neighbor who raised Weimaraner showdogs and whenever there was a new litter I could be found in the middle of them, in total heaven. But just before I turned four, my parents told us we were moving into the new house they’d built. How could they take me away from my home? On moving day I stood defiantly on the hitch of the U-Haul trailer just knowing it would stop this whole thing. Alas, they couldn’t be dissuaded and we of course moved into our new…”home”. We built many memories in that new home and in fact it was only a few years ago that we sold it to another family after we’d owned it over 4o years.
So yes I have lived in many many houses…but only a few homes. I’ve moved 5 times in the last two years alone. Okay, one move was to Pretoria, South Africa and then back. But for me, it can take a bit of time for the brick and mortar box with a roof to become a home. Just yesterday I went to my old house in Seward Park and took my black lab-“ish” dog Bear with me. This was our home and Bear’s first home and I was reminded of myself, standing on the U-Haul hitch. It had been almost 2 years since I’d brought him there and I wondered whether he’d remember it and how he would act. As we drove down the single-lane road Bear began to whine and then went into a full, loud bark as I parked. He jumped out of the car and bolted to the front door. I could barely hold it open as he burst through and proceeded to run through every single room of the house…non-stop. He then visited every single corner of the yard, tiring himself out enough to take up residence in his favorite spot, where the sunshine hits the travertine tile heated floor. He sighed, then fell asleep…he was home.
So, I am going home in two weeks to see my first home. Then it will be back to Seattle, where I live in a “new home”, one that we are living in as a family, to create memories, and make our house into our home…and I'm wondering, where do you call home?