Sunday, February 25, 2018

Lee Pitts: A House Is Not A Home

I read somewhere that people move every seven years; I think mostly to show their friends that they're moving up in the world. We've lived in our home for 35 years now and I'm not going anywhere because I finally know where everything is. We've just now got the kinks worked out. Indians would say "I'm drunk on chimney smoke" because all I want to do is stay home.
Ours is not a house that Architectual Digest will ever feature, but it's ours. It may be a bit dusty but at least it's our dust. No bank owns it. By no stretch of the imagination can it be called a "trophy home." We have no granite countertops, Wolf Range, media room, wine cellar or even a wine shelf, but we're happy in our home, and make no mistake, ours is a home and not merely a house.
A house is a commodity. It's a structure made from bricks and sticks that doesn't become a home until someone has lived in it long enough to know its eccentricities. Whereas a house is merely a building, a home is a residence, retreat, resort and refuge all rolled into one. You turn a house into a home by filling it with your own stuff, by recording the height of your kids on the door molding, spilling some beer or beans on the carpet and by turning the rocks on the fireplace black with your own smoke.
Over the years our home has become what real estate agents call "dated". When guests enter they don't know if they've walked into a home or a dusty museum. Whereas some folks are minimalists, my wife and I are maximamalists. There's not a piece of furniture in our home under 50 years old and old calendars, western art, spurs, rusty barb wire and branding irons are everywhere. There's so much rust hanging on the walls my wife doesn't know if she should dust or sandblast. Every item tells its own story. Some folks say that "stuff" doesn't bring happiness but if that's the case why am I smiling as I sit at my great-grandma's desk while looking at Grandpas's old saddle?

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