Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Happy Heart: A Happy Home

On her way home from college, Hannah drove through Laramie, Wyoming. She found the house I grew up in and took a picture for me. I've looked at it a couple of times since putting it on my computer. 

My mind goes all over the place when I look at it. 

My parents raised 10 lovely little kiddos in that house. Granted, it also has a basement, but even with a basement, it was not a big house.

But, it was our home.

And I loved it.

What I love more are the memories that come flooding back to my mind when I think about my life there. I look at the front yard and I remember countless summer days of weeding my mom's flower beds. Actually, they were the 'mounds', and I thought they were beautiful. I remember lying on the grass during the day and staring at the big blue sky and finding shapes and animals in the clouds. 

I look at the garage door and remember waking up really early and rushing to the garage to see if my dad was successful on his hunting trip. If he was, there would be a nasty carcas hanging in the garage. I don't remember ever really thinking it was gross. I just remember feeling really proud of my dad and excited that he got something!

I look at the gutters and remember floating anything and everything we could down them. We made boats out of leaves, twigs, etc. 

I see the front door and remember grabbing the screen door and yanking it open as I ran inside screaming at the top of my lungs, as my mom chased me with the hose. Surely I could outrun her. And I did. I made it safely inside. Only for my mom to open the door and squirt me anyway, breaking all the rules. Such a funny mom.

Just inside that front door was the piano. The piano that I dusted every week. The piano that I practiced on every week. It sat in the living room where my dad created his funny home movies. The living room where we watched Dukes of Hazard and Fantasy Island. The living room where I got my beautiful bleach bottle bride doll that my mom made for me one Christmas. I'd never seen anything more beautiful.

I see the parking spot on the left and I immediately see the blue and orange Volkswagon bugs that zipped in and out of that little space. And I remember snow storms that would blow snow drifts to the top of those cars.

I look at the yard and it seemed so much bigger back then. It looks so small now. We had water fights and snowball fights. We searched for bugs, we laughed and we played hard. I never remember it feeling small.

I look at the spot where the sidewalk out front meets the one that leads to the front door. I remember standing in that spot with a broken heart as I said goodbye to that little house when we moved to Seattle.

I look at this picture and I'm filled with gratitude for parents who turned this little house into a warm and loving home that always felt big enough.

It has made me think about our house here. 
Big Daddy built it, which makes it very special to me.
It wasn't built for nine kids, but in spite of being just a bit cozy, it's a wonderful home.

I can't tell you how much I love it.

Seeing this picture of my old home has turned my thoughts to my kids. I hear them in their bedrooms laughing with each other. I hear them chasing each other down the hall.  I watch the light fixture in the living room downstairs shake as the boys wrestle each other upstairs right above it. I watch them outside as they pull logs up to make seats and have a tea party. I watch as they climb the trees, and then sit up there and read. They are building their own memories. As they get older it's fun to listen to them as they laugh about things that have happened in this house over the years. Their memories are just as special to them as mine are to me. And I love that. 

When I look at the picture above, it really isn't all that impressive. It's not a big fancy house. It's not even that pretty to look at. But, in my mind, it is one the BEST houses around.

Anyone can have a house.
But, love is what turns it into a home.

I love the homes that I grew up in.
And I love the home I live in now. 
But what I love most is who I have had the blessing of sharing these homes with.

That will always make my heart happy.


Mom said...

And, I love you, Veronica!! This house holds brings back so many special memories for me, also. I think of the sweet children who were born while we were there. I think of the ones who grew up while we were cozy within its protective walls. I think about the challenges we had, and the successes we enjoyed there. I am filled with gratitude to our Heavenly Father for blessing our lives to find that house and then blessing us even more abundantly while we lived there. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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