La maison est où le coeur est.
La casa è dove il cuore è.
El hogar es donde está el corazón.
Haus ist, wo das Herz ist.
It doesn't matter how you say it or in what language, I agree, home is where the heart is but at the same time I think it goes deeper than that. I think home is also a feeling.
Troubadour and I have lived in several towns (Olalla, Penticton, Creston, Twin Lakes, Corvallis, Lebanon) and in a combined 16 dwellings in those towns in the 15 years we've been together. Not all of those dwellings have seemed like home even though we were happy and together. Most were just a place to live. Nothing has seemed more like home than the house we now live in in Corvallis. Here is a picture.
We have lived in this, our current home for almost three years. We looked at it twice with our realtors the second time knew we just had to put in an offer. It is a modest 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom 912 sq feet of living space on almost a quarter of an acre. This is not necessarily a small lot considering it is inside city limits and the house is a perfect size for just the two of us. We asked our realtors to find us a little house on a large lot, just the opposite of the house we were selling and they did. Our old house in Lebanon was 1283 sq ft on a tiny postage stamp size lot. We wanted our neighbors just a little further away. Some breathing room. This house needed a lot of updating but we could see the potential. It had been a rental and was slightly unkempt. To us it was our diamond in the rough.
Once we moved in we proceeded to make it more like home inside and out. Ripping out apple trees and rose corrals and evergreens, oh my. Planting trees and shrubs and painting the entire exterior by hand and that was only the first few weeks.
Even before we started on all of our projects (of which we still are a long way from complete) there was something about the house. It wasn't that we were finally living back in Corvallis (which is where we wanted to be), but just a feeling about the house itself. It just seemed like home. It doesn't matter that we ripped up the carpet and have had painted bare floors for over 2 years, doesn't matter that we had 1970's brown kitchen cabinets and a harvest gold range hood that had fruit and vegetable stickers all over it, doesn't matter that part of the back fence blew down 2 years ago and we still haven't fixed it (we border forest so there is no one behind us). It just feels like home.
We have had some obnoxious renters move in for neighbors across the street and they have been there for the past 20 months. This has tested the love we have for our home. We swore we wouldn't let neighbors chase us out of hearth and home but one day you never know. It seems it does not matter what time of day or night..... every time we walk out our front door they are there, loudly slamming their front door and coming and going at all hours. We have started to discuss things and our lot may not be big enough or far enough away from our neighbors.
Our home is our sanctuary. It is our hideaway from the world. Some people want to get away from their home for the weekend and go to the coast to stay in a motel or other such getaway. Not us. It wouldn't be home. The bed wouldn't have cozy polar fleece sheets like ours does. There would be no lovable ball of fur curled up on the sofa.
Objectionable people are starting to take over the neighborhood and our sanctuary is slowing losing it's appeal. We may need to look for a larger parcel of land outside the city limits and put a house smack dab in the middle away from everyone. Will it seem like home? Of course it will. We will be there in love with each other and our surroundings and we'll make it a home. We will make sure it has that special feeling. You know the one where you are coming home from a hard day at work and the moment you see it and take a deep breath you are at peace. When you come home and look around and realize life is good. The same feeling we had moving into our current place and still do when the neighbors aren't home.
Only the next house will be better as it will be a new adventure turning it into a home and life is what you make of it. We'll see what the future holds. We know we are not in our forever home. We aren't necessarily looking to renovate yet another house, but we can sure turn one into a home.
"He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home."
-Johann von Goethe