I was a clueless 2nd grader the first time I entered my current home. Life was simpler then, the warm summer breeze in my hair as I climbed the concrete steps and opened the large wooden door with a little stained glass window, An action I would repeat thousands of times in the following years. A brand new empty home has nothing in it, no memories or pictures on the walls, no evidence of life existing within its bare stricken walls, It’s a blank canvas waiting to be filled with color, and life. My house is home to many plants that strive for light through the gaping holes we call windows. My hose is home to the towering pile of shoes that take my family where they need to go before retiring back to their spot next to the door. My house is home to all the books that have shaped generations of humans into who they are. My house is home to all the framed photos that have captured just a snapshot of a memory that could have otherwise been forgotten. My house is home to all the people who have lived here before me, all the lives that at one point in time existed within the same walls, who walked the same path to the bathroom just like I do now.
The hunt for a new home began when my family started to outgrow our two-bedroom one-bath house perched like a bird’s nest on the top of Bigelow hill. It overlooked a huge park with a natural spring, as a little kid I took this perfect habitat for granted. We toured mansions on the eastside with roundabout driveways and floor-to-ceiling windows, we looked at little brick homes with vintage rose wallpaper in all the upstairs bedrooms. Packing up our old house was a difficult task, having to decide what things we would keep and which we would donate, letting things go can be really hard. As a kid accepting that things would be so drastically different was unyielding. In the end, we landed just a few blocks south of the capital campus in our grey home built in 1911 tucked into the historical district. It met all the needs we were looking for, with beautiful original wood flooring throughout the house and stairs that sweep upwards right as you enter the foyer, a wood-burning fireplace in the living room, and plenty of space to house our maturing family.
My grandma moved 13 times before the age of twenty, she has lived in the mountains of Ethiopia and the suburbs of Everett Washington where she raised my mom at one point she was even our next-door neighbor, It doesn’t matter where she lives we will always love her the same it’s not really about the home at all but the delicate structure of family that lives within it. A house becomes a home the second you start existing within it.