by Patti Clugston
40 years it was home.
How many people lived there over the years?
How many friends slept over, or crashed on the couch?
How many foster kids called this house a home, even if only for a while?
Who sat on the front porch swing, who swam in the pool,
who called 5665 a million times?
From gray shingles, to white siding, a sidewalk & a Pepsi machine.
Mike & Carolyn's house. Welshes.
Dee's house, Patti's house..
across the street from Erma, next door to Shirley & Rodney.
By the sewing factory.
Cars speeding by too fast, Agape strangers driving past every summer.
Doors are never locked, there never were any keys.
Come on in..who ever even knocked?
Nobody. Always somebody there.
A pot of coffee on the counter, cigarette smoke hanging in the air.
There was always time to have a quick chat, or most likely a deep, spiritual discussion about God & the Bible.
Bobby would drop the F bomb, Dad would say “Not in front of my girls”. Bobby never had daughters.
Although, he might have thought of us that way.
Barb Rutter stops in to sell Avon.
She always wears too much make-up & perfume.
Mostly, she & Mom just gossip, drink coffee & smoke cigarettes.
I loved the lip glosses shaped like a cookie, or a hamburger.
She would buy Dad the cologne in glass bottle that looked like a car, or mailbox. They collected dust on his dresser.
Many people have visited that home.
It wasn't because of the fancy furnishings,
meticulous housekeeping, or the big home cooked meals.
There was none of that.
It was because friends & family knew it was a safe place to come to, 24/7.
You would never hear Mom & Dad fighting.
You would never see Dad falling down drunk.
Someone was always there to put another pot of coffee on.
Sit around the kitchen table & make connections
that would last a lifetime & then some.
What a blessing to have grown up in this home!
I always felt sorry for those that didn't have parents that never fought.
When we went to sleep at night, we felt protected & safe.
What a secure place it was, with no locked doors.
Even when money is exchanged & the deed is transferred to another name,
it will still be the house we were raised in.
Mom & Dad made it a home.
They are in our hearts always.
So, is home really a piece of property that will be bought & sold?
I say, no.
Goodbye old house.
I have home in my heart.