Home is where the heart is

I’m a sixties kid and I make no apologies for that. I remember when kids could play outside without fear of being assaulted or abducted.

I remember the Beatles, the Stones and Chinese hopscotch. But what I most remember was the strength of a family which took meals together without the interruption of the phone, television or internet.

Those were the days when families made an effort to be families. We were required to dine together and actually hold a conversation and we were close knit because of that.

One of the best things I love to do to this day is take a drive. It was instilled upon me upon an early age.

My family had no money, but what we did have was the joy of being close. We loved to do things together, whatever that might be.

Were we the ultimate Canadian family? No! But we were a family that cared about each other.

It’s hard, sometimes, for me to understand today’s families. They are on the run and so I really do understand how busy they are. We have soccer moms and busy dads who are working hard to help support that family.

Somehow, however, it boggles my mind to contemplate how far we've travelled away from family values.

My family didn’t have a lot of money, as I am sure you know. But, what we did have was a sense of family. We knew that family was important and so, our parents although close to broke, always assured that we had family time together.

Mom and dad would load us up in the Country Squire to take Sunday drives. Sometimes that drive would take us into rolling hills, lakeside shores or high-class communities.

The five of us would sit with our little noses pressed against the windows breathing in the eclectic pages of life as it passed us by. Life slowly trickled by as we explored each and every community we drove through.

Sometimes we would take road trips for days punctuated by cold fried chicken and Kool Aid. But we were together.

Along the way, mom and dad would play road games with us. How many license plates can you name? How far have we gone? For little children who constantly asked “Are we there yet?” mom and dad did quite well keeping us occupied. My memories run deep and strong as I think about the seven of us driving through the hills and vales looking at “Mucky muck houses” and dreaming that one day we might live in those houses upon the hills.

It wasn’t until I grew up and learned to value that which is real when I began to understand that it isn’t about the houses in which you live in, but rather about the homes you build.

Although I wouldn’t want to be homeless and live in a tent, I can tell you that my home is where my heart is. My home is about that which I have built, however it might be.

It took me a long time to understand the difference between a house and home. I’m glad I finally know that definition. When we are younger it is about building and acquiring. When we are older and wiser it’s more about what’s important, it’s about the family within the house. That’s what makes a home.

When one is about to turn 60 it’s about caring about what you pass on, it’s not about what you have acquired, but more so about what you have achieved and the memories you will have left behind. I hope I have achieved a catalogue of memories shared by those I love who can cherish me for all those things and learn from me that life is not about financial gain, but more so about spiritual gain.

I wish for all of you, sweet days with your noses pressed against windows, dreaming not about castles in the sky, but more so about making the reality of life define you.

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