Turning a House into a Home

IMG_1171As an English Teacher in Korea and then as a military wife I know that moving happens on a regular basis. Such frequent relocating means that I have to turn whatever house I am in, into a home for my family. So, this daily prompt from The Daily Post, asking what five things I need to make a house into a home, is perfect for me.

The first thing I need for a house to be a home is my family. My husband and my kids are what turn any house into a home. We could be in a mansion or a hovel, surrounded by high rises, deserts, or oceans, but as long as we are together, we have a home. That sounds incredibly cliche, I know. However, it is true. My family is my home, and I hope that I am part of theirs.

A group of people is a good start. However, it alone does not make a home So, there are things we pack to turn any landing spot into a home. The first of these things is a shelf full of books. The whole family reads so that we will need a variety of books. My husband and I enjoy science fiction, history, and philosophy. Heinlein, Robinson, and Asimov would be my science fiction picks. For history, I like anything pore-renaissance, but my husband is also a fan of American History. As for philosophy (which also encompasses religion and ethics in our house, one shelf for all), I would love to have a good broad spectrum
introduction book and the core texts of many religions. We have some books, but this is a growing section in our house. The baby has his books. One of my favorites is “The Cuddliest Cuddle.” He enjoys his board books (of which we need more). The teenager is the hardest. He enjoys science fiction, but is more picky about it than my husband or I, probably because he has the least free reading time.

People are the life of a family, and books are a conversation starter, but they aren’t a unifier. Books can provide a smell (wonderful smell) that bring back old memories, but can’t create new shared memories easily. Games can. So our table top games make our house a home. I won’t list them all here. I will say that you can read my blog about which five games I would want on a desert island if you want some new game ideas. Games provide a thing around which to focus discussions and memories.

What games do not do is provide sustenance for people’s physical selves or allow those random heart-to-heart conversations. For that, you need a functional kitchen. If I had my druthers it would be a well stocked kitchen with double wall ovens, a six burner stove, and a walk- in pantry with a secondary fridge and a chest freezer. However, as long as there are a working stove and oven I can make sweet or savory treats to encourage people to talk about what is on their mind.

Finally, a little thing for each of us to see and know that this is home. For me, that is the pieces of lovingly hand-crafted art from Jonah and Robert. I am sure that the new little one will contribute to that as well. If I had to choose an item for my husband, it would be the hand painted Norwegian sign that says “Welcome to our home!” Robert still
has the blanket that he was attached to as a child, but now it lives in a unique space in his room. Henry is growing attached to the new bunny Will gave him, and the soft blankets from his aunt and her colleagues, but he hasn’t settled on one yet.

It doesn’t matter how grand a small your house is because iff your family is there its home. With people the things that help you remember, and the things to create more memories build a home. What are those things for you?


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