I’ve always defined the word house as a generic building people live in.
I’ve always defined home as the place you go at night, where you feel safe… where you belong.
Presently, in my mind anyway, we have both a house and a home. And both of them gave me a great workout this weekend.
The home we own, but no longer live in, is one step closer to electrical repairs done, new floors down and paint on the walls. When I walk in the door of “home” I still hear the cat meow, the sound of teenage boys crashing up the stairs, and the faces of grandchildren spilling in the front door.
The house we live in, but do not own, is another story. We are there to care for one who lives inside… paint and repair her walls… tend a yard that has been untended for years. And even though the cat transplanted with us and greets me at the door… that homey feel does not.
When I tried to explain this to the husband he said, “but we live here together – and where ever we live together that is home”…. which was an uncharacteristically sweet thing for him to say. I don’t take it lightly.
Last Saturday we took steps that make it homier, if that’s a real word.
He started pruning the fruit trees.
He mowed the lawn… and mowed… and mowed.
I picked a corner and started working my way around… which should probably take all spring and summer. This is a big yard, people.
I raked up dead underbrush, pulled weeds and did battle with errant, stickery vines.
You couldn’t even walk between these a week ago.
And I found some little flowers pushing up thru last summer’s overgrowth. They must be very determined.
Then he built a fire and we burned all the debris.
And after dinner he asked me to come outside and help him with something.
He handed me a stick and a marshmallow. We sat by the fire and toasted them. Several, actually.
It feels a little more homey. And I feel much gratitude….
…for a warm, clean place to lay my head at night
…for a partner to share the journey
…for hands and arms still strong enough to do the hard work
I don’t know if we’ll be living here in six months or six years or six days. But I’m not going to worry about it. That’s God’s department.
I’ve still got lots of weeding to do and marshmallows to eat.