In the last few years, I have spent a considerable amount of time thinking about the concept of "home." I have lived in several houses and apartments and dorm rooms, but when it comes to dreams, I almost always dream about the house I grew up in, the house we lived in with my grandmother.

I lived in this house for 8 years. I moved in with my family when I was 9, because my grandfather had just died, and it was decided that Grandma needed people living with her (I've always wondered if she really had a choice in the matter). We moved out when I was 17, because the house was falling apart. Grandma had moved out the year before, into one of those apartment complexes for the elderly - not quite a nursing home, but there were personnel on the premises who were nurses, with different job titles.

I went through quite a lot in this house from my childhood. I had an awful and angst-ridden puberty. I was always given the lion's share of chores, because I was the oldest child, and female. I was an insomniac. I had pets die there. My grandmother and I got into fights on a regular basis. But there were also so many good parts - the woods I could escape into whenever things got too harsh for my hormone-riddled brain to handle. The large holiday gatherings with the extended family. The meals that Grandma cooked that no one else in the family can seem to match, even with the same recipes. Long summer days spent reading in the tree in the front lawn.

About a week after my mother, my brother, my sister and I moved out of the house and into an apartment of our own, a little girl who was wandering around the old homestead put her foot right through the living room floor. The house had been rotting for some time, the basement was flooded and unreachable, and the chinks in the house's exterior grew larger and larger. The house itself was eventually demolished, and now there is an assortment of farm equipment parked where the lawn used to be.

So the place that I dream about quite regularly is no longer there.

I've lived in quite a few places since then, and every place has felt like home. My apartment now is more like a house, and I have lived here for three years. I know every corner, every creak. I can walk the halls in pitch-black darkness with no worry of bumping into anything. More importantly, I've gone through a lot while living here, the good and the bad. I've dreamt about this place once.


A Fuss said…
I love this post, because I always dream of my grandma's farm house. And she sold that back in the early '90s. I didn't even live there, but not having that house to go to, kinda marked the beginning of being a grown up.

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