Houses are People, Too
Houses are people, too.
That’s the way it feels, anyway.
In fact, they’re stacks
of boards and bricks held together
by drywall nicked that time you leaned back
too far in the chair. Closets lined in lint,
linoleum layers pad the kitchen floor.
This house feels like so much more.
The patio calls me every night,
humming songs I strummed
summer after summer, my voice rising
above the buzz of night time traffic
when nothing on earth or sky outsounds
the itchy cicadas shimmying off their coats.
The kitchen’s bay window
gets brighter towards nine
as the sky dims and I write another hour
before going in to where
for 3 months I made egg salad
with a dozen eggs a week,
because Dad was on a kick.
In this kitchen,
cooking for Christmas
became an all-night party.
Across from the fridge is
the door to the garage, never closed,
although if that weren’t so
I wouldn’t have panicked
and had schoolkids looking for Gato
the day he couldn’t be found.
When Richard came home,
he came running out.
I swear the cloak of invisibility
must be in that garage.
It’s not an impossibility
That place holds a mélange
of keepsakes magical in their ability to hold on
through 100 Goodwill runs.
Houses are people, too.
of people and places
with acoustics for laughter
and creative spaces
where we sleep without fear
and walk naked. The walls have no faces
no eyebrows to raise, no grins to hide
just the capacity to hold
a million memories inside.
Though we move on,
we never really say goodbye.
Driving through old neighborhoods,
we say, “There’s where I used to…”
With no good cause
but that the house was ours.
I live in a house my great-grandmother bought for grandma’s little sister, Jeri, 25 years ago. The ladies planted yellow jonquils and tulips that bloom every spring. I love my house, but we’ve been saving for awhile and have decided to move. I feel as though I should whisper that word, lest these walls hear and the roof bend with sorrow. This house has been a friend, a generous host who never judges or complains about the noise, but always offers warmth and an open fridge.
Why do we become so attached to our homes? When my daughter met her father for the first time this year, he drove her by the apartments where he and I met. When my mom came to Tulsa several years ago, she drove me by houses where she’d lived in elementary and high school. The windows of our former homes wink at us in a way nobody else sees. They add substance to our memories. When we revisit them after being away, their existence vouches for ours.
Though they vary in style, size and stories—meaning both floors and events—there’s no doubt our homes represent more than protection from rain. Our brains are so fixated on them there’s a memorization trick called the Mind Palace, which uses the layout of a house to help us remember items or tasks.
Students of dream interpretation say when we dream of a house, we see ourselves. If I dream of cleaning closets, I might be ready to eliminate old habits or things that are holding me back. If my dream house is cluttered and dark, I might be depressed or overwhelmed. If I dream of a house where the bathroom has no door, I might be feeling crowded or embarrassed about something. If I discover new rooms in a dream, I may be discovering new things about myself. If I’m in the kitchen, perhaps I’m cooking up new ideas.
When my husband and I walked into the home we’re purchasing, it seemed to hug us. When we left, we spoke in hushed tones. “This is my excited voice!” he whispered. Some people like open, hard wood floor plans. We like cozy carpeted nooks, and this place has plenty. It even has a library like those on my Pinterest Dream Home page. I can’t believe it’s right here, ready for us.
Once we’ve settled in, I might host a study of Wisdom – Better than Wishing in my new library. Meanwhile, I’m going to host a 31-day study on Facebook®. If you have your book and journal already, click here to send me a picture of you and your books. If you don’t, click here to order them today and send me a message with your order confirmation number. I’ll add you to the private Facebook® group which begins 8/1. You’ll get to enjoy the experience with others who are reading along with you. Wisdom is better when it’s shared. In addition, I’ll share weekly videos that will help you:
Handle difficult people
Enjoy the love we all want
Share your wisdom wisely
I can’t wait to see you! Right now, I’m going to fill a box for Goodwill! I am NOT moving all this junk!