Elements of Fitness – A Mother's Memoir

When Does A House Become A Home?

I haven’t been able to write because for the past 2 weeks I have been preparing our whole family to move.  We started packing on January 19th and our move date was January 29th.  

Our 2200 square foot home had finally become too small.   Well it actually became too small once Frankie was born.  His room used to be the girl’s playroom.  Frank with Frankie

For the past year, Frank and I talked about different improvements we’d like to make or what we wished this house had and then we would say “or . . . we could just move”.  So it was the running joke of the past year.  Especially since our home had become worth less than what we owed on it. 

Thankfully, at this juncture, we are able to afford to keep it and hopefully get it rented out.  We won’t be able to get enough rent to cover the entire mortgage payment so we’ll have to cough up the difference every month until the market gets better.

But we found a beautiful new house less than 2 miles away and it is more than double the size of our old house.  It’s great to have so much extra room and the cupboards aren’t busting at the seams anymore! 

We had 50 boxes of just “stuff”.  Not even stuff that normal people use every day!  For example, a Tazmanian Devil popcorn machine!  I have no idea where it even came from!

My mom, my aunt, my soon-to-be sister-in-law, Kaitlyn and Britney both helped me pack up the kitchen 2 days before the move and I swear they just kept pulling stuff out of the cabinets and I kept saying “Where’d that come from?” or “Where was that hiding?”  It made for some good comic relief.

However, now with so much room I have found that it’s not cozy anymore.  Our old house was cozy and warm and now our house feels cold and dull.  True, we haven’t hung any pictures yet or anything but it should still feel like our home and it doesn’t.  

Old Backyard

It just feels weird.  Not since my childhood home have I felt so content as in our old house.  For some strange reason I get attached to inanimate objects.  I don’t know why.  I guess it’s the memories and the sentimental things.  

I asked Frank last night if he was sad and his answers are always so logical and witty.  He says, “Why would I be sad?  Hun, you can’t get attached to inanimate objects.  Yes, we’ve created a plethera of memories here but they stay in your heart, they don’t stay with the house.”

Completely true statement.  However, it still feels strange.  

So here’s my question:  when does a house become a home?  Because I need this feeling back as soon as possible!  So please help!?

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February 11, 2009 - Posted by | About Me, Being a Mom, Family, February 2009, Moving | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Ma’am, if I could only tell you one thing, it would be to read Don Norman’s book Emotional Design. I know how disruptive a move can be, and he talks directly to the place that objects hold in our hearts and why memories just aren’t the same.

    To summarize, he says that the sensory stimulus, the experience of the object itself, is an accessible gateway to cherished memories. The biggest example of this is a house.

    A good way to feel like you’re in a familiar place is to take out your most cherished belongings and put them in a very visible location. Tidy up so that they’re not competing with clutter for your attention, and take the time to enjoy the memories that they conjure. We may move from house to house, but home is a feeling and a state of mind, and familiar things and people help us reach that.

    Best wishes to you and your family in your new house.

    Comment by Jason | February 11, 2009 | Reply


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