Old Houses – Where Love Lives

What is it about an old house that exudes warmth the minute
you walk in the door?  Can it possibly
convey the laughter and happy times that have happened within its walls?   I think so!

Last week my mom and I received the good news that her house
had sold.  So we traveled back to a
suburb of Cleveland to clear out some furniture, dishes and clothing.  I knew this would be a tough trip.  Yes, the packing was hard work, but the help
of friends and cousins lightened the load. 
I was more concerned with packing up my emotions.

This small house that my parents built so long ago
and where I was raised would
be called “home” no matter where I lived.  The
one filled with laughter, late-night card parties, backyard bar-b-ques, and
graduation pictures taken on the front lawn. 
Even though the living room was now empty of furniture, I could still
see the Christmas tree that held so many gifts when my brothers and I would
travel back.

The old black wall phone
used to be by the side door –when phones had curly-cue cords – and I would
stretch it straight as far as I could out the door so that I could sit outside
on the stoop and have long conversations with my girlfriends.
I could once again see the swing that my dad built tall and
strong – and I can still feel the excitement when you swing just a bit too high
and you lift off the seat for a moment. 
Here was the back yard that once held the garden which supplied
half the neighborhood with vegetables.
And the kitchen.  A
tiny space that created an endless oasis of incredible food – cakes, pies,
cookies, pierogies, turkeys, kielbasa, chicken paprikash, and that very special
treat on Christmas Eve – shrimp cocktail. 
This was the kitchen where I learned to bake – sometimes ending up with
more flour on me than in the cookies!

That house held so many memories for both mom and me – it was
difficult to leave it for the last time, and I was grateful for the pouring
rain that mixed with my tears and rushed us along. It would have been
unbearable to leave it in sunny weather.

Several realtors had commented about the “good feeling” of
the house.  So maybe it’s NOT just

 I do know one thing – I’m so grateful that our inn feels the
same when I walk in.  Probably because we’ve
been fortunate enough to know the Homans – a family that lived here from
1931 until 1989. They raised five children here and we’ve been lucky enough to
hear their stories and share them with our guests.  And I feel that the house is grateful to once
again have its hallways echo with laughter – this time with guests from around
the world.

Of course a house witnesses both the good times and
bad.  But I’m an eternal optimist and hopeless
romantic.  So the good times will always
take precedence.

Can people feel the good times?  Since so many of our guests return again and
again, I kind of think they can. 

And perhaps, every now and again, we all just need to go “home”,
to a place of love and laughter.

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