House versus Home

While cleaning out a closet, I found a five page memoir my mother had written about the home where she lived as a child.

Today, I write this blog post for my parents. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for raising me in a loving home.

That’s me in the picture above with my first and best friend, Rusty, playing in our front yard. 1 Keen Court was the address of my learning laboratory. It was a small lab; there were only two houses on our street.

I learned how to ride a bike, how to swim, how to play baseball, how to fish, how to climb a tree, how to make friends, how to drive a car, and how to deal with living in “the friend zone” (high school – ’nuff said.)

As a family of seven, we gathered around the dinner table. My father said Grace before we enjoyed my mother’s home cooking. No tv, radio, or phones. Just family.

I never saw or heard my parents raise their voice, have an argument, or fight with one another. I only saw love. I learned how to love pets in that home. I learned how to say goodbye to pets in that home.

I witnessed how a community, in fact an entire town, came together when a high school classmate and family friend died.

Like a prodigal son, I returned to the loving embrace of my home to heal after a relationship I had in college went sour.

The simple three bedroom ranch, with a three bedroom addition, was more than just a house. And Enfield, Connecticut will never just be the town where my house was built. I will forever get goose bumps whenever I return to my hometown. 

Cathy and I purchased a house in Ledyard, Connecticut in 2000. We’ve spent decades transforming a roof and four walls into a home. We’ve raised our children (only cats and dogs) and have forged friendships and built memories in our home.

Houses can be destroyed by fire, a hurricane, or a tornado. We can sell and buy houses. We can live in them or we can rent them to others. We can move to a new town, a new state, or a new country.

But, my parents taught me that a home is forever!

Be Kind. Be Thankful. Be Significant.

Peter

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