When I was a kid, my parents had this cool double fireplace in the house. You could feel the warmth from the fire in the kitchen and in the living room. I remember sitting on the edge and watching my dad cook dinner through the flames. That’s one of the few things I remember about my first home. My mom with my mother and father, a home that I would never have again.
*chillaxin’ on the porch of my parents house*
The other houses that I lived in while growing up went from apartments, condos, three family houses, big houses, small houses, and a bed and breakfast. Sometimes these places felt like home, sometimes they didn’t. I spent so much time going back and forth between my divorced parents households, that I became kind of aloof to the concept of having a home.
Especially, if you’re a firm believe that home is where the heart is.
My heart followed me to these houses, but I always left too soon for my heart to call the houses home.
I grew up like a gypsy, here there and everywhere. Different houses for holidays and different houses for birthdays. It was confusing for a little kid. It wasn’t anyones fault, but I just remember always feeling like I wanted to pull my heart out of my chest, make it a super comfy bed, surrounded it with its favorite things, and finally be able to call one of these places home.
Of course, there was always an exception to the rule. Four exceptions.
When I would arrive at my GG and Grandpas house, I instantly felt like it was home. I shed all my worries, I shed all my tears. I watched my Grandpa play the same damn song on his keyboard for hours on end. It filled my heart. I sat next to my GG in the living In her living room, holding her hand, talking about my teenage life. I slept over there more times than I can count. It was my happy place.
Another home that made my heart feel full was my Grammie and Grampies house. I spent many, many nights sleeping over in their house too. My Gram and I would rent movies and eat sour gummy worms. One time, as legend has it, I made my Grampie walk down the street very late one evening to get me an ice cream sandwich. I was sure that I would never be happy ever again I didn’t get that vanilla chocolate goodness.
Whenever I spend time at my Aunt Bertas house (who’s mother was my GG), I feel like the weight of the world falls off my shoulders. Even now, as an adult, spending time in her home with my Uncle Matt, feels like home. The walls are covered with happy memories, the atmosphere is full of love and understanding. When I was a little girl at Bertas house, we spent some time looking out her picture window. A lightening bug landed on the window and I looked at her with such awe saying, ” Oh! Tinker-bell!” I hope my kids have that same experience with her.
*This was taken at my house, but our GGB brings so much love to our home*
I love my parents so much, and I know they’re going to read this and probably think, ” HEY! What about us??! We gave you plenty of homes.” I always had a roof over my head, delicious meals on the table, tons and tons of wonderful family time. But, for some reason, I grew up thinking that I didn’t really belong at either home. I was a nomad.
Last, but not least, the ocean. The ocean is where my heart is the happiest. The sound of the waves, the sand squishing into my toes, the peace of seeing the moons reflection on the water. When I moved to Chicago eleven years ago, something inside of me seemed lost. I lived on Lake Michigan. I went to the beach all of the time. But Lake Michigan isn’t the ocean. There’s no salt water in your hair. There’s no waves that are so large they almost scare you, but you ride them anyway. The ocean is where we all began, and where we all return . A few years back we released my grandparents ashes off of the pier of rocks on the beach in Connecticut. They’re part of the ocean now, they’ve made it home for me.
But, here I am back in Michigan, a thousand miles away from the ocean. I have a house that is filled with three beautiful children, two obnoxious cats, and one very dumb dog. (Love you Wrigley!). We’ve spent five years making it our home. Each baby that we bring home from the hospital makes it more and more like a place our hearts can rest. There’s so many things that make a house a home, but until then I’ll remember what the sea smells like, how the sand can get stuck in your shoes, and how you feel endless opportunity while gazing off on the pier onto the water.
*home, where I wanted to go*