What is home? Or what feels like home? Arguably, it might be somewhere you have lived for most of your life, somewhere you are familiar. You know the weak spots in the floorboards, just how to turn the closet door handle to shut it, and where to hit certain appliances to make them work. But I don’t think that it has to necessarily be.
I am ‘home’ right now. I live in New York with my boyfriend but am currently visiting my parents for Thanksgiving in their house they bought a few years ago. They have just recently moved to West Virginia full time and it was definitely a transition for me. We are very close and I was living with them before they moved. I did not grow up in this house nor have I ever spent more than a week here and yet, it is home. It feels like I have lived here all my life.
I thought that perhaps it was simply my parents being here that made it feel that way but the last apartment we lived in did not feel like home to any of us. The floors were all tile – we like wood floors. It was a ‘modern’ apartment in that it was built in perhaps the last 30 years or so. I use modern loosely – more of a timeframe than a type of apartment. I have been to ‘modern’ apartments that are wonderful and inviting but this one was not it, at least not for us. There were no moldings around the windows or doors or any type of baseboard. The walls were flat white. We like texture and old moldings.
We left an apartment of 20 or so years because the children of the landlords, whom have passed on, sold it to a developer. It was a beautiful house, with two apartments, crystal doorknobs, thick wood molding and doors, a huge backyard and wood floors. When we moved into that ‘modern’ apartment, I don’t even think my cat was happy. It was always cold and she hardly ever finished her wet food which she lives and whines for.
The apartment my boyfriend and I live in is also a ‘modern’ apartment with no molding, no wood except for the floors and (I confess my favorite part) a stainless steel applianced kitchen. It feels more like home than did the apartment my parents and I just left though not as much as the one of 20 years. My cat is definitely happier – we live over the boiler room so the floors are always warm and she DEVOURS every last drop of wet food. While not perfect, I was sitting across from my boyfriend munching on pizza and I looked at him and I thought this almost feels like home so it seems people do have something to contribute.
This house of my parents though, it isn’t just them being here. The house is comfortable to me, inviting. It does have thick wood moldings – that have never been painted and are still the original dark stain, the floors are wood, the furnace sounds wonderful when it kicks on and it has a huge backyard. There probably are ‘things’ that feel comfortable, familiar. I don’t feel like I’m staying in someone else’s house.