Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The House That Love Built


The year was 1949 and the young married couple of only four years, were so excited to be building and buying their first home. A two story red brick bungalow with full basement, would be their cottage home for over 50 years.
This sweet home, with it’s plaster walls, wood floors and arched doorways would be the place they called home. The place where family and friends gathered for Sunday dinners, holidays, birthdays and backyard picnics. The place where they could feel safe, secure and loved. This home would be a special place.
The special place I speak of is my childhood home.

Lately, I find my dreams taking me back to that special bungalow. Maybe because of my own home remodeling projects or maybe I’m a little home sick at times, but I find remembering is so bittersweet and special.

I can still see the wonderful times we had under that light shingled roof. God blessed that home with love and laughter. Filled our home with memories that bring such joy today. This was the only home I knew growing up. The only home I would spend all my school years living in until I went to college and married.
Long after that time, my little family came to love and cherish my childhood home too. Even my friends held a special place in their hearts for that special place.
I used to think, well it’s the darling way my mother decorated, the ideal layout of the rooms or the front porch swing. The music that always came from the piano and the voices singing out God’s praises.
Then I realized, as the young couple who built the house, my parents, grew older, it was none of those things that made this home endearing at all. It was the special way those wonderful people, my parents, made you feel when you entered. You see, everyone was welcome. Everyone could come for dinner. Everyone could enjoy a steaming cup of coffee or a fresh baked cookie. They certainly were not rich, but rich in love and giving. They always had room for another at the table. It was the home of sharing, caring and love blessed from above.

As the years flew by, the sweet couple aged, the time would come, that God would have another plan. The man of the home, my father, would be called to his eternal home. Then, after 22 months the sweet lady of the home, my mother, would be called too. God had a plan and their work on this earth was through.

Suddenly the 1949 two story bungalow, was empty. For the first time, the steaming coffee, the home cooking, the music and the laughter were silent.
As we boxed the treasures and moved the furniture, the silence was deafening. The movers came and carried boxes one by one. Little by little the sweet bungalow was shed of her age and possessions.

On the last day, I spent time alone in my childhood home. I just had to walk through each room one more time. Each corner of every room was special. As I gazed through the emptiness, I could close my eyes and still see the times of love and laughter. I could see mother in the kitchen and dad in his basement workshop. I could see the Christmas tree and everyone singing hymns around the piano. I felt the cool breeze coming through the front door and I could hear my mother say, “it’s going to be cold tonight.“ Dad would answer, “how bout that cup of coffee hon.”
Then I imagined myself many years ago and how wonderful the times had been growing up in a place with so much love and friendship for others. I suddenly wanted it all back again, unchanged and young. But in my heart, I knew it could never be the same. The time had come for another young married couple to live in the house that love built so many years ago. A time for new memories and a new family. Deep down, I felt the home would always be mine. But since I was taught so much about love and sharing in this special place, I quickly made peace in my mind about the new owners soon to occupy my childhood home.

I slowly walked out the door for the last time, to my best guy waiting to drive me away, I ran my hand along the faded red bricks and for an instant remembered myself and girlfriends playing 7up against the house with our tennis balls. The tears began to fall. I could not stop crying for the house that love built. Saying goodbye to a structure that held so many wonderful memories. It was then I realized, I would never really be without this special place. For all that it was to myself and so many, would always be apart of my life. I realized that in my memories I could always return home.

As I turned around in the car to watch the house till it was out of sight, I could see Dad’s flag waving in the wind. I could see Mother's front porch swing swaying slowly in the breeze. It was like the house that love built was saying goodbye to me. It is a memory that will stay forever etched in my mind. God blessed me with a great gift. Not by brick and mortar, but by the love and learning that came from the special people within my childhood home.
That 1949 red brick bungalow was “The House that Love Built.”
Celestina Marie©2010
“Remembering is a blessing from God and a special gift we give ourselves from time to time.” ©cmd,2010
Blessings and Blue Skies till next time, Your Friend, Celestina Marie

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37 comments:

Rebecca said...

Ok Girl...I'm bawling my head off.

This is the loveliest story ever. Great basis for a movie. A very good movie!

Thank you for sharing. Love to you my very talented friend.

Love, Rebecca

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Celeste!

What a beautiful tribute to your family home! I could picture it all. I'm so happy you were blessed with such a wonderful childhood! I'm sure the young couple that now own the house can feel the imprint your parents left of love, faith & family.
It's so important we write about those blessings in our past so our loved ones can pass on such stories to their loved ones.

Love & hugs, Sherry

Rose Haven said...

Thanks for sharing this lovely story with us!! Enjoy the everlasting memories.

~Blessings,
Jan

Willow said...

What a beautiful story you have shared. It brought tears of joy and sadness. Thank you so much for sharing your precious memories with us.

Willow

C'est Moi, Julie Marie said...

Oh Celeste, I am bawling my eyes out... such a beautiful, bittersweet love story of your home... I felt like I was right there with you, as I know I was welcome there too... I know you will always carry these beautiful memories with you in your heart, and I know how much you want to go back to that little home sometimes, I feel the same way about the home I grew up in... your little house is so beautiful, they way it looks and all of the special reasons you wrote about... I KNOW your mama and daddy are looking down at it lovingly and happy another young family will love and take care of it... honestly Celeste, this post touched my heart so... xoxo Julie Marie (1949 is the year I was born also)

Anonymous said...

Oh the Memories! Oh the happy laughter and the smell of coffee! Oh the love and fellowship! Oh how I miss that house and the spirit and soul of the wonderful people that live there! Oh God thank you for good people, good times and good memories. B.G.

Connie said...

Okay, you got me crying, sugar. You've told a beautiful story and I'm sure it will touch many hearts today as people read it. I hope my kids feel the same when hubby and I pass to the next life.
xoxo,
Connie

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble said...

O dear! I am sitting here crying my eyes out! I too had the same experience. The home I lived in from the time I was four years old was built by my Dad. It was my parent's dream home. My Dad died in that home and my mother was only able to spend one night in it after his death. It was sold 3 months after his passing. I too thought it would be mine but I could not get the image of him there on the day of his death. My Mother was never the same and she moved to a Senior Citizen Apartment. Our family home was sold to a young couple who also had 2 daughters and the husband was also a carpenter. Oddly, my hubby now delivers mail to my childhood home which is beautifully cared for and remodeled. My Dad would be so proud of the house he built. Thanks so much for this touching post that made me remember just how wonderful my Childhood was growing up in that beautiful house, my parent's dream home.
Debbie

Lee Laurie said...

Oh Celeste, this story of your childhood home really touched home with me. I grew up in my grandparent's home and the memories are forever etched in my heart. As you were telling your story, I felt as though I was right there with you. I could feel the love in the house that love built.

Hugs to you,
Lee Laurie

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

Yes, I am crying too. Your house is so much like the one I grew up in. I went back about 6 years ago and went to my old house. It was like I had just left it. I did fine until I saw the old shed in the back. The shed my puppy used to use as a doggie house. I was a puddle of mush. That little house was truly home to me. I have to go blow my nose now.

ginny said...

Oh Celestina, I wept as I read this! I went through the same thing twice. When I left my childhood home, I got married. Then my parents moved. We started all over again creating memories with my children. My father passed after living in his home for only a year. 22 years later, my mother died. As I walked through her home going to each room, I could almost hear her voice. I remember how empty and sad I felt. Then as I was ready to leave the house forever, I noticed the wooden bird feeder my father made still hanging on a tree branch. I took that feeder home to my house. It was one of the only items I had to remind me of my dad.
My first home as a married woman looked almost like your childhood home. It was a little 800 sq.foot bungalow, that I wrote about in my blog after my neighbor passed away.
This post stirred up so many memories for me Celestina. And you are right...you can't go back and re-live the happy times...you can only carry them with you.
So beautiful...thank you!

Bearly Sane said...

Now to go get the tissues and wipe the tears away ... Celestina Marie that's a beautifully written piece, full of wonderful of memories ... you were indeed blessed!
Warmest hugs,
Sandi @ Bearly Sane

Shirley said...

The tears have been rolling down my cheeks as I read your story. It brought back memories of my childhood of never really getting to stay put very long until I was in college because my dad always rented the farm. When my grandmother passed away, my dad was to do two things. He was to buy a new car and a farm of his own. I am lucky in one respect because my youngest brother kept the farm in the family. You always wanted that special place, but moving made you make a lot of friends. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. Take care.

Marydon Ford said...

G'morn Celeste ~ What a loving, warm memory of your home that your parents filled with love. I smile as I enjoy each of those moments you have shared ... what a tribute to your parents that so many shall carry forever the treasures of time spent with you all in the home That Love Built.

This brings to mind my maternal G'ma Maggie's home ... standing in the middle of the rooms, taking in for the last time every single inch of the warmth, cherished moments of joy & love that the walls held ....... watching Mother cry her heart out as we were closing it up for the last time ...

Have a beautiful St.Patrick's Day ~
Hugs, Marydon

Bunny Rose Cottage said...

Oh Celeste!! I am sitting here crying!! I could picture everything you wrote in my mind, as though I was there. Your beautiful family. What wonderful childhood you had. I am so glad you have these beautiful memories to fill your heart and mind. That beautiful home will forever be a part of you and you a part of it! It is a beautiful home and yes, I see many in towns here in Michigan that resemble it. I love those style of houses!! They are so welcoming and cozy. I hope my boys have the fond memories of our home and family that you do of yours! Such a beautifully written post Celeste!
Love you sweet friend and I hope you are all doing well. I would love to see where you have placed your collage of Miss Beazy! It warms my heart to know you are enjoying it so much :):)
Love,
Amy

Draffin Bears said...

Dear Celestina Marie,

What a moving and lovely story of your childhood family home.
The memories you share are so special and as you say bittersweet.
Glad that you had a wonderful childhood and the love your parents shared in your home.
I too am thankful that I grew up in a loving and caring home.

I hope that the rest of your week is wonderful.

Hugs
Carolyn

Just Between Us Girls said...

My dear.... the beauty of memory is that you can call upon it over and over again and it is the one thing that no one can take from you. It is all yours. These precious memories are so splendid and rich with beautiful images of love and kindness and caring. No wonder you are such a lovely person...your background is so rich with love and beauty. Thank you for sharing.
Love and hugs,
Pat

The Muse said...

the sweetest piece i have read all evening...it is a heart on display...and done with such open honesty and love!

so glad you came to see me and i am delighted that i had a moment to return to visit you!...

i am stealing time here and there...as we are so deeply engaged in dads downward health. his final tests (diagnostic) are upcoming and we are hoping and praying that this will give the doctors direction.
thank you so very much for the warmest wishes regarding him...that means ever so much.

Shirl said...

Hello Celeste, what a darling little home and what a sweet story to go with it. Memories to treasure for life. What a blessing to grow up in such a loving home. Your words are so touching in recalling your memories! Thank you for sharing. I loved your previous post on your Nana's crochet and knitting.
Thank you for stopping by and leaving a sweet comment.
Also loved the adorable little banner that Amy made for you with Miss Beazy.
Love ya, Shirl
Shirls Rose Cottage

bee'nme said...

Dearest Celeste - how gracious of you to invite us along on this most intimate journey through your childhood home and the sweet memories you hold so dear. This moving, lovely tribute to your parent's love and hospitality and your family's values is a wonderful lesson to us all to do all we can to foster those same attributes in our own homes and lives. You brought this home so alive to us, and I know that is how it will remain in your memory...alive and vibrant with the sights, sounds, and smells of your joyous childhood. Thank you for this most special post...it is one I will not soon forget...

Hugs & Blessings,
Becky

rosechicfriends said...

Celeste!
What a truely blessed life. You and your family are so special and I can see that in your wonderful memories of them! What a rich, Godly heritage you have my dear friend!

Thanks for your sweet comments..so glad to see you back. Is your redo done yet?

Hugs to you and your family! and Miss Beaz too!

Lorena

Marie Antionette said...

Well!!! You made me cry.
So as write this Celestina Marie, tears are dripping down on the keyboard.
This tribute was so beautiful. It brought back alot of good memories for me too.
Your such a beautiful soul. On the outside as well. Your parents are both smiling down at you.
I'm so happt to call you friend.
Thank you for stoping by.I know I have not visited much,but I have you on my mind,when my mind works. Which it is doing better...LOL.I did finish a doll...It only took me over a month to complete. I can usually do it in three days. LOL.
You take care Dear Heart.May God bless you always,
XXOO Marie Antionette

LuLu Kellogg said...

This was such a beautiful posting. I am having trouble typing through my tears.....it is just so sweet.

LuLu♥

Diane said...

Celeste, sweet friend, it is painful, I know, in a very bittersweet way. But believe me, those memories are treasures. Not everyone has remembrances that are filled with so much love. You were truly blessed and I believe with all of my heart that your dear, dear parents are still with you in spirit and are so very proud of you!
Blessings,
Diane

Ruth Welter said...

Celeste, what a beautiful and moving story...thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

Ruth

A Hint of Home said...

This is such special post. I loved reading about your childhood and childhood home.
That house looks a lot like the one I was raised in.
Aren't you glad we have stored memories to reflect back on?
Sorry I haven't commented sooner. I was getting ready to travel and now I'm in AZ with Ceekay. Tomorrow off to CA to spend time with our daughter and grandkids.
Take care, friend.

vickie said...

Hi Celeste, thank you for sharing this lovely story. You are truly an artist in every way, even with words. I felt I was there with you. It's a beautiful home, you are blessed to have these wonderful memories.
hugs, Vickie

Angela said...

What an absolutely touching story. SIGH...I could picture you going through that home....

Believe it or not, my girlfriend lived in a house SO identical to yours it's really WILD!! I had to take a double look and remind myself that you don't live in Canada, AND just down the street from me..lol

Crystal Escobar said...

That was just beautiful!
I'm new here, and lovin your blog. Just became a follower.

Daz Girls said...

Hello Celeste,
Pat (justbetweenusgirls)sent me over to see you and read the great story on your blog. I love it. I hope you can find the time to look at my NEW BLOG. I am very excited about joining you in blog land. Your comment would be greatly appreciated. I know Pat admires you and your work and I can see why.
Kathy

Prims & Pretties said...

Simply, I am moved to tears. What a beautiful couple they must have been to leave such a wonderful impression upon you. Beautiful Celeste!! Tammy

randi K design said...

Celeste, you are such a good writer! I could just imagining visiting with you.. You are so lucky to have all those nice memories!
Oh, and by the way... you have that same way of treating your visitors, warm and welcoming...
Hug from me, Randi

KarenHarveyCox said...

What a magnificent writing Celeste. You should publish this, it is so beautiful. It made me cry, so heartfelt the message. Makes me know why you are such a special person, to have had such wonderful and loving parents.

You are truly blessed to have such beautiful memories, you are blessed to be able to articulate your feelings so beautifully, and to make us all feel what life must have been like in "the house that love built."

Karen

Rhondi said...

Hi Celestina Marie
What a lovely treat to hear from you. My parents bought a house very similar to yours but we only lived in it a short time. What wonderful memories your house gave you. I loved your story.
Hugs, Rhondi

Cindy Adkins said...

I am crying--this story is amazing, Celeste!!!

XO
Cindy

Blackberry Lane said...

How I love this post and your special memories. So heartwarming. Pleasure getting to know you and your family.

Karen Harvey Cox said...

I reread this beautiful story again today. I also reread my comment here from four years ago. This tory still made me cry and still made me think that you should publish this story.

You have a way about you that makes people fall in love with you and your beautiful creations. I am blessed to know you Celeste. You bless everyone around you every day.

Have a beautiful day,

Karen