It happened this week, amongst the hustle and bustle of Alma Center Strawberry Festival and having family over. It happened after I had just mowed the yard and cleaned the house.

I sat down on the couch to relax and melt into the cushions and suddenly this house we had been living in felt like more than a house, it felt like a home.

I don’t know why it happened this weekend of all weekends. Maybe it was finally getting everything to my liking outside, or maybe it was finally having a good place for everything when I cleaned the house.

I don’t know what it was, but all of a sudden the house we have been living in reached down and hugged me. It made me feel safe and secure. It made me feel like I belonged.

It is such a good feeling when a house changes to a home.

We have been living in our house for nearly six months now. We have painted walls, bought pillows for our window seat and made our home work for our needs.

In my lifetime, I have only had two homes before this one.

My first home was the home I grew up in, which is where my parents still live. I can still remember walking into the house for the first time when we toured it and seeing a green ham on the counter. I really don’t know why my parents bought the place, but nevertheless we moved in.

We made improvements to the house, adding a bathroom downstairs and removing the downstairs kitchen and changing it into a storage room. We got rid of the mice in the house and gave it a good cleaning.

When I think back to my time in that home, I have a lot of fond memories. Memories of working on fair projects the night before fair and everyone sitting downstairs in the summer because it was too blasted hot upstairs without central air.

Unfortunately I was too brass and brazen to get out of there before I left for college, and didn’t savor those last few days in my first home.

It wasn’t for another five years until after college and moving away to Ohio that I would experience my second home. This one was different though because I, along with my wife, actually owned it. We actually purchased it and were responsible for its upkeep.

It was a perfect 1,200 square foot split level in a neighborhood full of nice people. We painted the walls of the house a very light gray color, covering up the dark green tones throughout the house. We replaced the old chandelier at the entrance with a more modern option.

Downstairs we turned the Ohio State Buckeyes room into a cinema-themed room, which allowed us to keep the same scarlet and grey color scheme without supporting the enemy.

We loved this house and it wasn’t too big or too small for us, it was just right. We brought our first child home to this house, we made a family here. We sacrificed in this home and we triumphed in this home.

I’ve said many times that if it would have been financially viable, I would have moved that home here to Wisconsin because we loved it that much.

Unfortunately that didn’t happen, so here we were more than six months ago searching for a house, one that could potentially become our home.

Luckily in the dead of winter and in a terrible time for house shopping, we found one. We found a house we could make into a home. We found a place that we could make new memories in, where we could make it our own.

This house has become our home in the last few months, and I am glad that it all of a sudden has a heartbeat.

As I’ve grown to have my own family and own my own home, I have come to find one truth about a home that is perfectly summarized in a little wood figurine that my mom had over our stove in my first home that read, “Home is where the heart is.”

That phrase is so simple, and yet so true.

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