Jun 25, 2009

A Place to Call Their Own

My daughter and her fiance are buying a home. The current economic downturn has afforded them an opportunity they probably would not have had otherwise. Home prices in the Detroit area have been steadily falling over the last two years and sellers are desperate. As an added bonus they also get the benefit of an $8,000 tax credit as first time home buyers thanks to President Obama's stimulus package.

It's a small ranch in a nice neighborhood with beautiful big trees. We went to look at their future home last weekend while the Inspector was giving it the once over. Many of the neighbors wanted to sneak a peak at the new folks and conveniently found some outdoor things to do while we were walking the perimeter. They all seem very nice.

As we walked through the house I noticed that some of the belongings of the previous owner were still there. She was an elderly lady who passed away three years ago. Her two sons have been trying to sell the house for quite some time. They cleared out many of her items but some things were left to be dealt with later. Some were very mundane and ordinary but a few of them really stood out and made me realize that houses have a life of their own. They see families come and go. Each family's life played out within it's walls. Memories are carried in the hearts and minds of the people who lived them, but somehow it seems there is some whisper of those memories in the walls of their home.

The things that whispered to me were......

The old kodak camera hanging on the wall in the basement.
The hand washed handkerchiefs and doilies hung on a line in the basement.
The empty canning jars waiting in the pantry.
Handwritten notes stuck to the refrgierator door.
An old 1950's dining set relegated to the basement.

Small things, but reminders that life is made up of ordinary moments strung together. My daughter and her future husband are very excited, as they should be. Young, in love and about to set off on building a new life together. As we toured the house we heard about their plans for their new home. These awnings have to come down, this will be the office, etc. etc. So, new memories will be built and children will be born and ordinary things will happen day in and day out. This house will continue to be a home.


  1. Congratulations to your daughter. It is an exciting time for her.

    I liked your insight into the belongings that were left behind. Four walls mean nothing until we put something in them, then it becomes a home. If only those walls could talk and speak of all the memories they hold.

  2. I like to picture the two sons as young boys sitting at that formica covered table while Mom dished out some tomato soup to got with those grilled cheese sammies. MMMMM.

  3. Oh, I TOTALLY think that houses carry memories in them. And it makes me nostalgic for the home of my youth, with the light green painted walls in the basement that we were all allowed to draw and write on...God, I loved that house. My parents sold it before I had a chance to say goodbye, and I dream about it often.

    That was definitely a HOME. :)

  4. On the practical side,.good on the kids for recognizing that this really is a good time to buy a home.
    Prices,mortgage interest rates,and stimulus perks are incredibly appealing.
    On the spiritual side,.the way cool vibes in the house are a good indication that there will be many happy memories to be had for the new young family!
    ..It's a win-win.

  5. MHP - There were so many things about their new home that reminded me of the house I grew up in. Maybe that's why it gave me such a good feeling.

    Sling - No flies on these kids. Sharp as tacks I tell ya. My grandkids will be veritable geniuses. And now that you mention it, I did get an overall good feeling while in the house.

  6. Am pleased for your kids but find the other stuff terribly sad for some rerason...I absorbed most of mum's most loved stuff...nothing financially caluable...but things she lo0ved the rest was spread around...after three years for some of her belongings to be still there...thats sad for some reason...

  7. MC - I know what you mean. That's sort of why I felt the need to post something about her things. To honor her and the life she lived in that house.