Saturday, March 29, 2008

Thoughts On Coming Home

If you sweep a house, and tend its fires and fill its stove,
and there is love in you all the years you are doing this,
then you and the house are together, that house is yours.
-Truman Capote


I wish I could describe to you all how I feel about this old house. I try. I think of words, but then they all line up shout "crazy! You sound crazy!" when I say them out loud. My heart belongs to this old house, really. I know, with all strange certainty, that I belong here.

Such a ramshackle of a place, too. Look at her: missing chimney... chipped, discolored paint... cranky old windows, some painted shut. Don't forget that roof that needs re-roofing. Freeman House is... well, she's been neglected. But she still has the beautiful soul and bones of a fighter.

I forget how much I adore this place until I leave and come back. Sometimes I want to cry just pulling into the driveway. This morning, the old black-top drive was dark and damp and looked like someone pulled out a giant water color set and painted it. Morning rains had swirled yellow-green pollen with redbud blossoms and it looked... lovely. It was pretty. And the house seemed to sigh when I stepped off the pretty drive onto her steps. Oh good, I imagine her thinking. I haven't been forgotten.

It's unhealthy, isn't it, to hold so tightly to a place? Yet even while I know it is, I can't help it. And maybe I don't care. The house and I are together, it seems, and it is mine. I remind myself of this when I'm away, and rejoice in this when I come home....

19 comments:

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Beautifully expressed, Brin. Yes, it may be a bit "unhealthy," but I understand it all too well having loved a home or two of my own.

This love for Freeman House is just because God has such big plans for you there. That's what I think.

Anonymous said...

You did express it beautifully. I do not believe it is unhealthy. I believe you have an attachment, a vision of what the house might become, you do love and love of a home is a Center of your are and the dreams of the future. It is your center, will it be your center in the future that is the unknown. God,, will carry you on the wings of the wind and you will carry his word, but home is home. God Bless and feel comfortable and happy and blessed in the home you find beautiful and comforting.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I think that is the way God made us. We are to love "home".

I always say there are times I go through my house and want to give the rooms a hug. No where else in the entire world is there such a place that I belong.

This world at least.

betty r said...

I can see why you love this house..it has so much potential and someday it will be what you want it to be!
We'll be waiting in the wings to see it unfold..
Oh yeah and welcome home!

sister sheri said...

If the Lord asked you to give up the very thing you are holding so tightly to... would you obey Him? If your answer is yes, than I think it is safe to say it is not unhealthy.

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Mrs. K's Lemonade Stand said...

Very nice post and you are right, she is beautiful! There is something very special about a home, no matter what the age, when you feel it in your heart. :)

Jenny said...

I think you stated your thoughts perfectly. And by the looks of it, there are more than a few of us "unhealthy" folks here. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.

Still looking for my "Freeman House",
Jenny

debbie bailey said...

After our l830-style Carpenter Gothic cottage was build, I would stop in the driveway, look at my house, sigh, and say out loud, "I love my little house!". After eighteen years I still feel the same.

I agree with Sister Sheri though. If you're not willing to give it up, it's an idol of the heart. I know though, that if ever I was called to give it up, God would give me the grace to do it. Otherwise, I couldn't! Debbie Bailey (Laurel's-HappyatHome- mom)

fairmaiden said...

I think many of us are in love with Freeman House too. I know I wish I could come visit, even if it we're only to drive by and look in awe...because afterall, you have shared so much of the inside (the heart of your home) that you have made us fall in love. It also makes my heart sing to read of your affections for *home* because It has been lost a bit in our world today. People come and go, buying and selling, like their home doesn't mean anything at all. Makes me so sad. I want to stay at Sea Cottage till I die, God-willing...at least long enough to watch the gardens grow enclosed and enchanting.

Sue Neitzel said...

I know just how you feel about your home, and I too don't think it's unhealthy at all, if more people felt about their homes like you do, less would be so worn down and neglected. If more loved being at home, just think of the less trouble in the world! I love that quote, may I use it in a post? You were meant to be the caretaker of Freeman House and I understand your love of home. I too think you need to write books!!

Anonymous said...

The funny thing is...I truly don't think we ever completely own an old home...I believe we are caretakers..each owner adds their own love for the house..their own touch.. to carry on to the next owner...you make that home live again....you are the caretaker untill one day...many years from now...another owner with as much love as you have for the home, comes along and new memories are made...that is what I love about old homes..their stories are never finished...just continued..
Geneen from calif.

~~kattz*cottage~~ said...

Hi Brin!
I relate SO much to that post! I have such a strong connection & Love for my old Texas house too & any time I'm away I can't wait to get back.....I always get a warm mushy feeling when I walk back through the door. If you ever find a way to open those windows let me know - I have some painted shut ones too that I would SO love to open!

Have a great week!
Kathy

Susie Q said...

So beautifully written and so well expressed! I do understand this feeling...it makes my heart swell to know that this house is loved. All houses should be loved.

Hugs,
Sue

Mayberry Magpie said...

I believe -- when we are lucky -- we are meant to be in our homes. Mine is old and a bit ramshackle like yours, though I work furiously to tend to it. But think how many people drive by houses like ours and think, "Lordy, who would live in THAT house?!" If we weren't here to be the caretakers of our homes, who would? Our homes were meant to have us, and we our homes.

Mayberry Magpie

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Anonymous said...

Hey Brin, Strangely enough, I feel the same way about my Durham House.
Jae
The Cruise Princess

Dolly said...

I just discovered your blog!
I was reading thru each post before I left a comment but this one stopped me in my tracks!
I too have felt the same way about and old falling down ranshackle of a home!
I fell in love with that house...it spoke to me, it had a hold of my heart and called out to me to save it!
Being there I felt I belonged, I felt it was the right place for our family, I kept telling everyone I am in love with my house and they all thought I was nuts!

It takes someone very special to love and apreciate old homes!
I applaud you 100 percent and I wished I lived closer because I'd be there helping you bring her back to her old glory!

She is beautiful!

God Bless,
Hugz,
Dolly

Joni said...

Oh, Brin, you write so beautifully of your love for your old house. I understand you, because I, too, inhabit the walls of a very old place. Not as old as yours, but still, our home has its own past, personality, patina, and patriarchs. I love old homes, always have, and never felt more at home than I did the day I walked into this one...even though she drives me crazy sometimes with all her personal quirks, I still love her to death! You can see my home on my blog...hope you can visit soon! I just wanted you to know that I LOVE your blog and your writing, you are very talented in so many ways and so gutsy!