By Bruce Carlson

We moved into our new house on May 4th. It is now a couple of months later! As I sit here in the front room, where a couple of months ago were stacks of moving boxes, the scent of a new house lingering in the air, a feeling of newness was settling deep within my bones. I’m looking around and I realize that this house we purchased two months ago is becoming more than just a house—it has become our home. It’s a place where we will live in comfort, and safety, and create a lifetime of cherished memories together.

North Aurora home

Back in North Aurora, when we decided to move, that was our home. When we reached out to Alecia back at the beginning of the year to place our home for sale, that began the transition to a house. We were somewhat surprised by the demands to neutralize the house. Repaint the walls to beige. Take down pictures of the family. Change light fixtures. This was our home!

As we reluctantly and somewhat sadly made the changes our home began to echo. Alecia said all of these changes would make our home sell quickly. We didn’t realize at first but came to understand, as people came to view our home, that it was becoming a house. Fortunately, Alicia was correct, our house sold quickly.

From the time we accepted the bid on our house to the moving out we lived in a house. It was a sense of separation. In a way, it was the passing of an old friend. There was a period of grief and sadness. We learned to sit with the sadness and process it. It was something we had to do to move on.

We began to work with Jane on finding a new house. As we walked through the various houses, it was like looking for something at the meat counter. That’s a nice-looking steak, but not the one. You see something that catches your eye. Then the price is too much, it’s too big, too small and you start all over again.

New Athens

When we saw the listing for the New Athens house it was a good fit, except for the distance from our son’s home. At first, it was a no. But it started to grow on us. The distance was only a half hour, much better than a 4.5-hour drive. We made a bid. It was accepted, and we got through the closing.  We now had a house.

It wasn’t home yet. As the movers pulled away and we stood among all the boxes of stuff, we started to put things in place. It was a slow process of opening boxes and putting things in the right room. We slowly made order out of the mess, yet I still called it our house. One night a week or so ago we were coming back from shopping, and as we pulled off Route 13 into New Athens, I said it. We’re just about home. And it was our home.

It was a funny feeling. Something early that day I was still calling our house was now our home. And it felt good. This is the place we will live. It’s our home.

Such a simple word, yet it carries a world of meaning. It’s the place where we retreat from the world, where we find solace and warmth. It’s where we can be ourselves, where we can let down our guard and just be. This is our sanctuary, our little corner of the world where we can truly belong.

When I think of home

When I think of home, I think of the love and companionship that fills its walls. It’s not just about the physical structure but the life we will build here. This is the place where Karen and I will navigate the journey of life hand in hand. It’s where we’ll share our dreams, our triumphs, and our challenges. Together, we will create a haven where we can weather any storm that life throws our way.

But a home isn’t just about the two of us—it’s about family. It’s a place where our loved ones will come to visit, share meals, and make memories. I imagine the laughter of grandchildren echoing through these rooms, the sound of family gatherings filling the air. Our home will be a space where we can host holidays, birthdays, and all the special moments that bring us closer together.

And then there are the memories. A home is a container for the stories of our lives. From the walls adorned with photographs to the shelves filled with mementos, every corner will hold a piece of our journey. It will be a testament to our experiences, our adventures, and the love that has filled our hearts. Our home will be a living archive, a tangible reminder of the beautiful life we have built.

New life

As I walk through these rooms, I can already envision the life we will lead here. The morning sunlight streaming through the windows, the aroma of hot chocolate cooking in the kitchen, and the cozy evenings spent curled up on the couch. It’s a place where we can pursue our passions, find inspiration, and simply be happy. Our home will be our respite from the chaos of the outside world.

I’m filled with gratitude for this moment—the realization that this house has transformed into our forever home. It’s a privilege to have a place that we can call our own, where we can grow, love, and create lasting memories. With each passing day, this space will become a reflection of who we are and the life we have built together.

So, here we are, embarking on this incredible journey of homeownership. With every step we take, we come closer to turning this house into a home where love resides, laughter is shared, and dreams are nurtured. It’s a remarkable feeling, knowing that this is where we will spend the rest of our lives, hand in hand, creating a beautiful future.

Welcome home

As we become more settled in our new settings I think I’ll be more able to find my tea. We hope you are enjoying these articles and are willing to continue to follow along as we move through the process of selling our house, buying a new house (to become our home), and the adventures of learning about life in southern Illinois, Bruce & Karen.