Memories, for me, are treasured lifelines to the person we were. It is with these lifelines, interwoven with others, that help us to see who we have become, and how we came to be that way.
This afternoon, I had the opportunity to revisit the home where the Hill family lived while I attended high school.
A sign appeared on the acreage selling the barn and the house, declaring they "must be moved." The property is now zoned for commercial, and the owners will break ground on the lot for storage units within the next 3 months.
Aaron, Whitney and I walked through. The memories flooded back. I saw the furniture, heard the sounds, remembered the yard work, the construction (the destruction) and even found a few historical remnants in the vast reaches of the attic eaves.
This home was the first house the Hill's actually owned. Up to that point, we were in rentals, or military family housing. I remember, still, the first time I was alone in the big house, sitting in the kitchen with the now-ancient cell phone because the phone line hadn't yet connected. Looking out the front door, I saw Jake and Brandy run, then sit next to me on the front step. Standing on the second level looking down toward the kitchen, I heard mom calling up the stairs for me. Stepping down the entry staircase, I slid through the large cardboard box with my brothers again. Walking through my old bedroom, I felt the safety, the solitude and the comfort of family. Even with no furniture, time fading the walls, carpets and windows, memories whispered through, offering memories of childhood, growing up, and moving on.
This evening, I sit in the place I have called home for the last 12 years. 7 years ago, this became the home in which I have lived the longest, and I feel it. This is home. This is our life... and our life story.
Over the past few months, we have undergone some changes. The two upstairs bathrooms had complete renovations, and they look awesome! We have a new roof, siding, windows, gutters... The perennial flowers are coming in.
Still, this feels like home.
My reading today included 1 Nephi 4-6, from the Book of Mormon. Nephi and his brothers left their family in the wilderness to return to Jerusalem, where people wanted to kill their father, to obtain records of God's commandments, genealogy and written language. Their travels had taken them away from the "land of their inheritance" for years. Upon obtaining the plates, they were to return to their family. I can only imagine what it must have felt like to walk through their home. To see the material wealth their family had, to offer it in exchange for the record on the brass plates, and to have it stolen, and be labeled as thieves must have broken them. And yet, Nephi and Sam welcomed the commandment. And they brought a friend - Zoram - back with them. They welcomed him home.
"There's no place like home" is true. And there's no place I would rather be.