Turning Back Time: Home

I have heard many times how Dad and his brothers would wake up on wintry mornings with snow drifting through the window cracks, landing on their beds. I think Dad has even sneaked this story into a sermon or two. However, it was only about a year ago that I realized Dad grew up without indoor plumbing. He was in his teens before their house had a real bathroom with real plumbing. My father grew up in an old house in a small town in the 40’s and 50’s, and this was how life was.

The house that I grew up in was quite different. It was about twenty years later when Dad moved his family into a brand, new parsonage. It was a beautiful, four bedroom ranch house with a full basement. Perfect for the four kids!

As a child, this house was home, from the cork-covered desk my sister and I shared in the basement to the kitchen with green carpet — Mom loved the kitchen, hated the carpet — to the plum trees and sandbox in the backyard.

Home was home, and I loved it.

When I was twelve, we moved to a different town into an older house.

Oh, this house was awful! My bedroom had faded pink paint on the walls. Our basement was tiny and dark, and our backyard wasn’t really a backyard. It was just a grassy area between the church and the parsonage…not much of a backyard at all. No plum trees grew there.

In time, with love and care and new wallpaper, our new house became our home.

As I became a teen in this home, I began to realize that “home” was not a house. My mom had started working part time. I was so happy on the days when I came home from school and she was there. I chatted her ears off while she made dinner. She would nod and agree with me and move about the kitchen as I talked and talked and talked.

At 5:55 p.m. every night, someone would call Dad at the office to tell him to come home for dinner. His commute from the church next door was two minutes. At 6:00 p.m., all six of us would sit down to eat dinner together.

Meetings, hospital calls, sermon writing — all was put aside for dinner.

Musical rehearsals, piano practicing, homework completion — all was put aside for dinner.

Now, before you get all sentimental about dinnertime, let me clue you in on some things that happened during dinner. There were tears and sulking when one didn’t get one’s way. There was a hand slapped down on the table in anger; a hand which consequently had a broken bone.

But around that dinner table was also laughter and joy and being together.

Home was home, and I loved it.


Did you write a post about home? Please link up your post’s direct URL in the linky tool below. The linky will be open until the end of the day on Thursday. In your post, please include a link back to Lemon Drop Pie. Thank you!

Prompt for next week:

Here in the Midwest, we are eagerly anticipating Spring. What memories do you have about Spring? What does Spring mean to you?

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7 Replies to “Turning Back Time: Home”

  1. I would get 'called' by my mother using a knife or a fork that she rapped against the heating pipes. That way she didn't have to shout up and both my cousin and I would come down (almost) immediately. The situation around our dinner table was much the same: laughter and jokes and tears and angry faces. And to this day I will not eat broad beans!

  2. I love that you guys all dropped everything for dinner. We were big into sports and rarely all home at the same time for meals. We did always keep a jigsaw puzzle on the table that we all sat around and worked on during breakfast every day…

  3. I like this post, Ginny. We, also, always had dinner together when my dad walked in the door. I knew so many families that didn't and still don't. It's so important. A way to reconnect after a day.

  4. Home has always been a tense place for me. I grew up, mostly, in a three bedroom house with a small attic – no awesome basements. In the South, there's really no need for one. I grew up an only child, so my parents had a tendency to be really controlling and everyone was always in a bad mood because I took dance, cheerleading, gymnastics, did school plays and after school clubs, so I was rarely ever hope, and my mom's and I always being away from home just put everyone in a bad mood most of the time. It's definitely better now, because I live on my own in an apartment, and I feel that separation has been healthy for us, despite what my mom might think. She misses me, and I understand that, but I really feel like all of us just need some space, especially me, so I can figure out who I am and who I want to be as I continue to grow and develop physically, emotionally, and mentally.Sorry for such a long comment! Stopping by from SITS.

  5. It's weird – maybe a consequence of my parents being divorced – but nowhere ever really felt like home to me. And now, home is where my husband and my daughter are, for sure, but is my house my home? I don't know. I think I might get to feeling that way eventually, but I'm not quite there yet.

  6. Love this post and your blog! I'm so glad I stopped in from the SITS Sharefest. For what now seems like only a few short years of my life, five of us kids used to crowd around the dinner table every night with Mom and Dad. When we saw Dad's truck roll into the drive, we knew it was getting close to dinner time. When he whistled, we knew we'd better run from wherever we were in the neighborhood. And then the chaos of eating, talking, fighting, laughing ensued . . . Sweet memories!

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