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Thursday, June 10, 2010

home is where the heart is

Our big upcoming move to Whitehorse has had me thinking, once again about the idea of home and what and where that really might be for me. My close friends and family will know that moving around is not something new to me, over the last 10 years or so I have moved to at least 8 different towns or cities, this summer will make it 9. So it might surprise some to know that I really don't like moving all that much, in fact I actually hate it. It's not the packing up of things so much that gets to me, but it's the unsettled feeling of not having a home that gets to me.
For the later part of my childhood my homelife was somewhat messy. With a family breakdown, parents leaving, and being in the care of my older sisters, I think what I craved most during that time was some stability and normalcy. I think it was through that experience that I really developed a strong desire to have a real home, one where I felt safe and secure. This is something that I still strive to create on a daily basis- a comforting, safe home.
Once I turned 19 I moved to Halifax to go to art school and continued on for the next 6 years moving in and out of apartments, living in different towns for school (Halifax, Montreal, Kingston) and all along I just hated the idea of not having a real home. Without sounding too sorry for myself, I must share with you that I also didn't have a family home to return to for holidays and this desire to someday have my own home only grew stronger and stronger.
Fast forward to last summer. I was big and pregnant and of course the last thing that any big and pregnant woman wants to do is move, but move we did and we bought our first house. It was absolutely the home of my dreams. Sweet and cottage like, with a front screen door, original hard wood floors, a gorgeous kitchen and a lovely backyard. It was where we would eventually bring Noah home for the first time from the hospital and where we would celebrate all his first holidays. I honestly thought that it was too good to be true and that it really wasn't our home. But it was. It was our home. Our first home and we have so loved this house.
So when last January came around and my husband was offered a transfer to move up North I think it's fair to say that my very first concern and thought went straight to our home. How could we ever leave this beautiful home I thought. I think also, a little part of my inner child started to feel that uprooted and unstable feeling that I had felt through my childhood...not a good feeling I tell you. I really didn't want to have to leave it. But despite being scared and feeling vulnerable and after much discussion, Winslow and I agreed that we would accept that transfer and so we prepared our house to sell.
It only took 3 days for our sweet little home to sell and I'm not the least bit surprised. The new owners seem very lovely and this home will suit them well. But I am sad and not quite ready to part with this place, or maybe it's the memories that I can't bear to leave.
I know that it is not healthy to attach myself to belongings and physical things, but in this case, is a home a physical thing? I don't believe it is.
To me, home represents memories, a feeling of safety and security. It's where we have sat down and had many a delicious family meal and it's where we have welcomed our friends and family. It's where I did my Christmas baking this year and where Noah has spent the first year of his life. This is the place where it has all happened and the truth is is that it is going to be really hard to say goodbye to this chapter in our life.
Recently my friend Alena and I were talking and she mentioned that I should do a blog post about our home (she always has great ideas for blogs posts that I should do). A tour of sorts so that I could look back in years to come on our first home. So I thought I'd share the photos that we took when we put our house up on the market. And no our house does not normally look that clean, we and when I say we I mean Winslow worked his butt off to get the house looking that sparkly and pretty.
So there it is. Our home that we will be saying goodbye to in just over a month. I will miss you dear home. I only hope that we can someday find one just as nice, but if anything is to be learned, it's the memories and people in the house that are the most important.


  1. I really know how you feel. I've often said that I sorta feel homeless. We're on our third move in just a little over three years. It's hard to plant our feet. Were you able to find a new home yet?

  2. What a beautiful post- and pictures, too. Though I've not moved nearly as much as you, I find it very difficult, too. But, you're right. You'll make new memories, have new moments. And you'll be together. Can't wait to see pics of your new place.

  3. I love how it is decorated.... you will create a new home ... one filled with love for your sweet family. Sending you a hug!! XO

  4. You have a very beautiful home, I can see why it would be hard to leave!!! The first home we bought I always said that I wasn't that attached to - it was bought with the knowledge that we would be leaving it in the near future, so I didn't think that I would have a hard time leaving....but the day came to leave, and it was amazingly hard. I think it will even be hard to leave our current house that we don't even own. I think it's all the memories you have there. But soon you will have a new home to start making new memories in!

  5. Remember... the home is where your heart is..... yes cliche... but you are taking the best part of your home with you, Winslow, Noah, and your beautiful things. I know it's hard, the memories we have made in our first home too... Bob moving in, Rylan coming home, learning how to walk.. falling, Walt fixing, painting... parties with friends and family all squished up in our living room.... I will miss that, but I am taking Bob, Walt, Rylan and baby with me to our new one, and when I think like that.. it's okay!
    I on the other hand am going to miss YOU terribly!!!!
    ♥♥ Erine

  6. I know this feeling Johanna! The last home we moved from was the one we had lived at the longest. I didn't even like it that much (it wasn't nearly as beautiful as yours!), and when it sold I thought I'd be only relieved - since we had already bought our new home - but I was really very nostalgic. I remembered where I had been laying on the couch when the contractions started with Seth, Troy coming down the stairs and me telling him he wouldn't be going to work that day, the baby had other plans! It wasn't about the house itself, it was the things that had happened there. I still remember the apartment we brought Thane home to, a flat on top of a beautiful home near Point Pleasant in Halifax. I remember the window seat in Thane's room, how the light was, sitting with Thane in my lap and just watching my first baby. You'll remember all the great things of Noah's first year at that house, and you'll add memories from the North to the docket! ;)

  7. This post brought tears to my eyes. Your house is lovely...I've always loved it. But your home is beautiful - and that is where you spend time with family, gather for dinner etc. Your new home will be just as beautiful and you will make many new memories there. xoxoxo

  8. What a lovely post!
    And a lovely house. Seriously! I think you and your family have lived in my dream house.

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