Sanctuary, peace, haven, comfort and family – all words I use to describe home. I have only ever stayed in 4 houses and I am nearing 60. The first was the one where I was born – in a wee village with one small shop and nothing else. My parents used to regale us with the story of my birth in the living room while waiting for the ambulance. In those days only one person in the village had a phone and he would often say to me as I grew up – yes I nearly delivered you – he actually didn’t but felt responsible as my Dad used his phone to call for the ambulance. It was a very social occasion with the lady from next door assisting my Dad (or perhaps the other way round). My 2 brothers were sent “out to play” while it all happened. I arrived before the ambulance. They were invited in to see their new wee sister after I was born and they looked quickly and then asked if they could go back out to play. My Mum laughed about the fact that my Dad was told to keep the afterbirth so the doctor could check all was well. In his panic he used the good crystal fruit bowl and even in the midst of giving birth Mum was horrified that he would use such a lovely bowl. She used to say – you know we didn’t have much and I was so proud of that bowl.
I remember growing up cocooned in that wee cul-de-sac. In those days we could play outside until dark and I remember on more than one occasion my Dad putting me over his shoulder to carry me in when I protested. A group of us would go away with a packed lunch and cycle to the wee small holdings less than a mile away – but we felt we travelled for miles and miles. We would have fishing nets with us but very rarely caught anything. I think the most exciting day was when one of the group caught a tiny minnow. We were all mesmerized by this wee fish in a jar and kept it for a few days before it floated to the top and gave up.
I started primary and eventually high school from that house – great memories. I met my husband when I lived there and was eventually married from there over 40 years ago. Some memories never fade.
Our first home together was in a council house only about 4 miles from my birthplace. It was a happy home where we had our 2 children and watched them growing up and becoming fine young adults. The sanctuary and peace part was perhaps not so obvious in those days with 2 youngsters around the place, always having friends around and the pace of life seemed to get faster all the time. We had our first dog in that house and she added so much to all of our lives.
Our next home was our first foray into buying property. We didn’t have a lot so we bought a house needing a lot of work. We all 4 of us lived in 1 room for a year while we created a home around us. It was a happy time and we worked hard on that house for many years turning it into a comfortable home. We bought our first horse for my son, aged 4 while we were in that house. The horse had the same name as both my husband and son so you can imagine the confusion that caused.
After renovating the house we sold it on and bought our forever house – again needing a lot of work. We’re still here and loving every minute of it. Our children have moved on long ago but they will always look on this house as their home. We live here with our 2 horses, 2 dogs, 4 chickens and 19 geese and when it’s just the 2 of us it is a peaceful and tranquil haven but very often it’s full of our children and grandchildren rushing around and creating havoc.
Over the years we have realized that it’s not the building that makes the home, but the people in it.