I mentioned we're moving, right? We have spent the past several weeks driving around Canton and surrounding towns and townships (I'm never quite sure where I am when I get very far from the highway), and we finally narrowed in on a place to call home. We made an offer, and the sellers accepted, and now we wait. There will be inspections and papers and a closing followed by a bathroom remodel, and it will all take weeks to be complete. And then we'll have a new place we'll call "home."
I was thinking about that term last night as we were having dinner in Canton. We left the restaurant for the 30-minute drive to Home, but in a couple of months, it will take us just 12 minutes to get from that same restaurant to Home. We'll pull into that now strange driveway and open the garage door, and we'll be Home. We'll let the dog out to pee on his new Home turf, and we'll settle in with a cup of coffee from our new Home kitchen and plunk down on the couch to watch TV in our new Home family room. OR, and this is the best part, we'll sit outside with that cup of coffee and stare at the fire we'll have built in our new outdoor fireplace, at Home.
The front of the house looks like this:
Nice, right? But it's the back yard that got me. The sellers created a sanctuary back there with a waterfall cascading over rocks on a slope and a big wooden structure that covers a stone patio and a fireplace. We aren't sure what to call the structure because it isn't a pavilion or a pergola or an awning. For now, we're calling it "the hut," and I suspect that term will stick.
Years ago, we were at church after a vacation Bible school event with a tropical theme, and there was a left-over wooden structure designed to look like a beach hut. It was built of wood with a paper roof (faux thatch), and to get rid of the thing, the church auctioned it off. Eustacia wanted it real bad, and we bid on it, something like 50 bucks. Before we knew it, we were the owners of the hut, and we put it in her room. She slept in it sometimes, she decorated it inside and out with beach things, and she loved it. We couldn't wait to get rid of it when she grew out of it, though. Enough with the hut.
When we first put our house on the market, Eustacia texted to ask if we had sold her childhood yet. We hadn't quite, but now with our new Home, we can at least let her spend time in a new hut. Our girls haven't really lived here for years, but they still refer to the place as Home. No. 1 will call from Texas and say she'd like to come home for a couple of days, or Eustacia will mention going home for the weekend. They're both referring to the house we've lived in for nearly 20 years, the only house they remember calling Home, and now I'm wondering, if they visit their parents in the new place and sit in the hut with coffee and a fire and listen to our new waterfall, will they feel like they're home, or will they feel like visitors?
I'm trying to recall how I felt about my parents' house after they moved out of my childhood home. I had no sentimental attachment to the old place and didn't mind at all when they sold it. I didn't feel as though they had sold my childhood—good riddance, I thought at the time. But then they moved into a new place, a house they had just built with no memories good or bad, no references for where I had watched TV as a kid or learned to ride a bike or read my favorite books or wished I could leave. It was comfortable and came with no baggage, and I was content to visit, then equally content to drive away.
We'll see how the kids view the new house, and the hut, when they pay their first visit, and we'll see if they think they're going Home when they walk in the front door. We'll make it Home, though, regardless.