The House That Harvey Built, We Have Made a Home

Fall                                                New (Dark) Moon

The house that Harvey built ( Harvey Kadlec) as a model house for Kadlec Estates–3122 153rd Ave. NW, Andover, Minnesota–became a home long ago.  The kids have contributed memories and projects.  The land around the house has had many iterations of plants and vegetables.  Kate has sewing materials and tools scattered here and there.  I have books and computers.vegachair

With Kate off in the hospital this home reverts part way to house.  Without her here part of the spirit of the home dwells elsewhere.

Houses are inanimate, things of wood and metal, pipes and plastic.  The house, or the apartment, at least in America, will have serial occupants.   Except for those folks who work with architects, their construction and  siting decided by someone else, often a construction company, these sophisticated shells provide shelter from the elements and changing seasons.  Various ports of entry connect a house to electrical service providers, a gas company, a cable or satellite service for TV and broadband internet, water and sewage removal.  Often a patch of earth surrounds the house, a buffer between the house and the outside world.

A home, now that’s another matter.  A home is a house (or apartment) that has been made real in the Velveteen Rabbit way.  It may have a step or two that jiggle when walked upon.  Maybe one or two windows have their weatherstripping coming loose.  The floors probably have scuff marks and once pristine walls have chips showing the wall board beneath.  At any time there is probably a light bulb out somewhere.  The gas fireplace stopped working two or three years ago.  The water pressure is not what it once was.

That brand new furniture that looked so good in the show room?  A dog is asleep there now with a young boy.  The cat scratched the chair and though long dead her mark remains.  The beds in the home have bred dreams, consoled sadness and rocked with anticipation on holiday mornings.  Showers have cleansed little boys before t-ball games, girls before prom, mom and dad before anniversary dinners or after funerals.

Cars have been dissected across the dining room table.  Gardens planned.  Weddings, too.  Thanksgiving dinners and birthday parties.  The oven still has the remnants from a first cake.