I Love Home

Every morning when I take Molly to school, I drive past a house that recently was for sale. That’s not terribly unusual—’tis the season for home selling around here.

What caught my eye about this particular house, besides the huge blooming forsythia bush that took up the entire corner of the backyard, was the paper notice in the front window, the words HomePath on the for-sale sign, the obvious emptiness of the house.

forsythia bush

Those three indicators point to one thing: foreclosure.

Just seeing it all made me sad. I wondered what happened to the former owners that led to them losing their house. Did someone get sick and the bills pile up? Was someone laid off and unable to get another job in time? Was death or divorce involved somehow?

The signs of foreclosure also reminded me of all the bank-owned houses that Randy, the girls and I looked at when we were searching for a “new” home a few years ago.

We were downsizing, and one of our primary goals was to find a solid house that we could remodel ourselves. (Not just a “bit of a fixer-upper,” as my favorite song from Frozen says, but not something that had to be gutted from top to bottom, either.) That’s why foreclosures held such appeal.

As we searched, we gave the listings names like “the mold house,” “the daycare house” and “the California split.” There was the house with cigarette butts around the entire outside perimeter that went on and off the market before we even put our house up for sale, and the house with tall, stately columns that I wanted to look at the minute I found it online, even though it was late at night.

(We never did pursue that one, which turned out to be a good thing given its close proximity to a home with a backyard that is transformed into a huge Halloween maze every year, free and open to the public.)

Randy and I have had nine addresses in our 21 years of marriage. That’s in stark contrast to the first half of my life, which was spent almost entirely in the same house.

It used to be a bit of a sticking point for me that the longest we’ve ever lived anywhere is five years. But after our latest move almost exactly four years ago, I feel differently about it.

I used to crave the stability that comes (I thought) with putting down strong, deep roots in one spot. Now, though, I realize that it isn’t the spot that creates the stability, it’s the people at the spot.

Whether it’s my parents, who now live in a ranch house on a city lot, as opposed to the three-story farmhouse on three acres where I grew up, or some dear Arkansas friends who sold their beautiful lake home and moved to town a few years ago, the story is the same. When I enter their front doors and see them there in their new surroundings, I don’t think of where they used to live.

I think of them now, and how glad I am to see them, right where they are.

This reminds me of something Molly did several months after we moved into our current home. By then, we’d done a few major improvements to make the house livable, but most of the real remodeling work was yet to come.

Molly didn’t care what the place looked like, though. During her first semester in a new school, where she knew no one and it took her a long time to make her first friend, our house was her sanctuary.

Which is why, on the first day of Christmas vacation, she found a little scrap of paper and scratched out the following words: “I love home”

I love home picture

More than three years later, that piece of paper is still on the refrigerator door, next to a worn copy of my favorite Bible verse and a little framed photo of Randy’s granny. We’ve all changed and grown (as has our house), but Molly’s words still ring true, at least for me.

I love home, but not because of the beautiful bookshelves in the living room, the sunny yellow laundry room or the immense garden patches outside. I love it because of the people who live here and the memories we’ve made together.

Memories that are forever attached to our hearts, not to a particular street address.

Lois Flowers

P.S. I’m linking up today with Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart, Jennifer Dukes Lee at #TellHisStory and Kelly Balarie at Purposeful Faith.

Photo credit:Forsythia via photopin cc


10 Responses to I Love Home

  1. Janet says:

    Hi Lois, I’m visiting back from RaRaLinkup – a couple of months after the fact for this post. Yes! I told my sister the same thing about moving – home is not the place, it’s the people. Since we’re trading posts, and if you want to and have the time, you can find me talking about ‘home’ in these posts: http://thenextstep1991.blogspot.com/2014/09/what-is-home.html and
    http://thenextstep1991.blogspot.com/2014/08/doing.html and finallyhttp://thenextstep1991.blogspot.com/2013/05/my-father-if-prophet-had-told-you-to-do.html.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Janet, thank you so much for sending me these links. I thoroughly enjoyed reading them and discovering that we have more in common than our love our light (husbands who aren’t afraid to tackle most any home-improvement project, for example, or the habit of naming houses during the search for a new home)!

  2. Anita Ojeda says:

    Yes! I love home because of the people, too! The longest I’ve ever lived in one house was eleven years–and what shocked me about moving from that house was how. much.stuff.we had accumulated! Now I’m a bit more careful before I purchase anything and I’m much better at purging more often.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I know what you mean, Anita. I’m pretty careful about the purchasing part, but I could get better at purging more often. If something has been in a box for 10 years, it’s possible I really AM saving it for the future bookshelves in the basement, but it’s equally possible that I just don’t really like it that much and should get rid of it or donate it to Goodwill!

  3. Well, Lois, I’m just eating up this post of yours since our house is going on the market on Monday. So many emotions, so much work, so many decisions.

    But through it all? Peace.

    Kinda makes me wonder what people will label our house as!

    Blessings!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Linda, I’m guessing that whoever looks at your house will sense the peace that you are experiencing even now as you prepare to move. I hope all goes well through every step. 🙂

  4. I’m happy to have found your blog on Jennifer’s #Tell His Story link up.

    Lois is still a good name, even if it’s not as common nowadays. I’m reminded of (Biblical) Timothy’s grandmother, who had a sincere faith and my mother, who would have been 89 today.

    What a good reminder to us all, that “home” is the place of love and loved ones, not just an address.

  5. Lydia says:

    I don’t know if I’ll ever get past home at some level being 231 S. Elm Street, but if I could “favorite” this post, I would! 🙂

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Thanks, Lydia. I used the forsythia bush picture partly because of the one in the backyard of the foreclosure and partly because it reminds me of the Elm Street house. 🙂

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