This is the home I grew up in. My father was born in this house, and lived in it for most of his life. I lived in it until the day I got married. Its walls witnessed a whole lot of joy and a whole lot of sorrow, the stories revealed to me as I grew up. The Crosby family grew deep roots at 4273 Clifford Road in Cincinnati, OH. I knew exactly where I came from, the environment that formed me, and everywhere I went were people who knew me from the day I was conceived. “Home” for me, will always be Cincinnati.
Over the years I stopped being sentimental about the houses. Every one of them held special memories but leaving them wasn’t hard, it was just a fact of military life. When we are living in them they are home, but as soon as they are empty they are just houses.
Somewhere along the way we developed a tradition we refer to as The Empty House Toast. Once the moving van pulls away we gather a few friends together in the empty house and offer it a toast, thanking it for its shelter and the memories we gathered while living there.
Military families are fond of saying “home is where the heart is.” I think my youngest son said it best. When he was 13 someone asked him where he was from and without skipping a beat he said, “I’m from wherever my stuff is.” Wise words from one so young because home, to us, isn’t about the four walls, it’s about the objects we’ve acquired in all the places we live and the way we put them together within those walls to reconstruct, again and again, the place we call home. The house itself, the neighborhood, the stores, the streets….they may not be familiar but our “stuff” is.
To this day, I stand by my belief that this is why I have such a hard time throwing things away. It’s not junk, it’s home!
Okay, I might have to admit that when Jim’s command is finished and we have to leave this gorgeous historical home, I might be just a little sentimental…..
Very nice post!! I read somewhere that HOME IS HEAVEN FOR BEGINNERS and I personally agree that home is not the four walls we occupy but the sense of togetherness and belonging to a family unit that makes the “home”.
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I agree! Home is all about the people in it…along with the “stuff!”
I recently had to leave my old life behind with everything in it(not really by choice)…if you let go of your “possessions” you still can manage while you have the people with you. I must say, that I thought I would miss some of my “stuff” more, but I don’t.
Julie, I do not recall ever seeing that painting of your house on Clifford – I like it!
Kate, my sister had it commissioned after my parents moved out of the house. When they died we took it to Kinko’s and had it reproduced so all of us could have one. Jim framed it for me as a gift one year.
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