Look up House in the dictionary and one of the definitions is a building for human habitation, especially one that consists of a ground floor and one or more upper storeys. Now compare that with Home: the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household. There is already a little bit of warmth there a bit of humanity even in the dull definition from the dictionary.
A house is somewhere you look at from the outside, it’s a standing there with a “for sale” sign outside, or maybe it’s a plan in an office ready for the builders to lay the foundations. It may have been a home to someone else but it’s not what makes it your home.
On moving day you get the keys to the house and move from your home, that someone else will move into as a house, with those possessions that make the cut in boxes and bags and turn the key on a house.
Over time the house that you have chosen fills with laughter, and screams of annoyance, the boxes become less and it starts to get the appearance of your home. But it’s not yet a home as you haven’t put the stamp on it yet. It’s a house with your belongings in, the beginnings of the home for your family and a home base to return to a place to call your own.
Six months later, the house is turning into a home. You don’t wander around in awe that this is now where you live like you are on holiday there and someone will come and take it away at any moment. You’ve added a keyring or two, you’ve scratched a tile, marked a wall, broken something that you’ve added.
The sounds of the neighbourhood are finally not unusual, instead of startling you they lull you to sleep on a night and wake you up gently or rudely with the alarm.
That is our point – our house is here, we have made it, the house that will likely be our forever home. But, it’s not quite a house anymore, it’s the beginnings of a home and the journey to that is just beginning.