Friday, June 1, 2012

Houses and Homes

It's often said that "A man's home is his castle."  But a woman's home is also her castle, no?

It's also frequently said that "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home."

Gardener's Cottage
Glenveagh National Park, County Donegal, Ireland

*Just a warning to those of you who might get bored:  This is a photo intensive post.  Mr. Forest Manor and I frequently refer to our house as our "humble abode," and I think that's meant in a good way.  In the course of our married life, we have lived in four different homes.  Our first home was a townhouse (couldn't find a picture) that we rented for two years before we bought our first house.

This house was actually a Sears kit home -- one of three Sears kit homes on our little block.  It was built in 1924.  The exterior front porch was eventually converted into a heated and cooled sunroom, so the house had a little less than 1,500 square feet of living space.  It looks very small in the picture, but the house extends back quite a bit.  This house had a shared driveway; ours is the house on the right.  I honestly can't imagine us sharing a driveway now -- much too inconvenient.

 We lived there for six years.

When we first moved back to this area from Greensboro, we wanted to take our time to look around before we purchased another home.  So for a year, we rented this house.


 It belonged to my husband's mother and her siblings.  The five of them grew up here with their parents and made lots of good family memories in this house.  When my husband's maternal grandmother died in 1980, the house was rented out for a while because all the siblings had homes of their own in different parts of the state.  The house is civil war era, circa 1860 or 1861.

Then in 1996, we purchased our current home.  We've made a few changes since this picture was taken about ten years ago.

 The one style of house I used to tell my husband I never wanted to live in is the very kind of house we wound up buying -- a brick ranch-style. :o)  I thought they were so boring.  But I've come to change my mind about that over the years.  The Sears bungalow we lived in was cute and charming, but inconvenient in many ways.  Our current home is the most convenient and comfortable house that we've owned, even though it wasn't new when we bought it.  It's home to us, and that's the important thing.

So what is it that really makes a house a home?  Well, for us, it's books,

(our family room)


family photos,

(sunroom in our Sears bungalow)

and flowers...

Flowers are wonderful, but so are kindly neighbors,  :)

and a family pet.

Bonnie 1989-2000


 A park right down the street is always nice,

 (park near our bungalow home)

Celebrations are important, too.

(the day my husband received his MBA)

...and decorating the porch for the seasons (and holidays) of the year

But I bet we'd all agree that the memories we make in a house are what really make that house a home.


Here are more pics from our house in Greensboro.  The quality of the pictures is not the greatest.  I loved all the big windows and tall ceilings that made this house seem so light and airy.  I loved the hardwood floors throughout the house and the wide moldings around all the doors and windows.  What I didn't love about the house were the tiny (almost non-existent) closets, lack of basement, no carport or garage to park the cars in, and way too few electrical outlets.

What's your favorite house that you've ever lived in?  Besides good memories, what are some of the things that make a house a home for you?

Thanks for stopping by, and as always I really appreciate your visits and your lovely comments.  I'm sorry I haven't been visiting everyone lately, but our big house project is almost finished, and I plan to pay some catch-up visits very soon.  I hope you all have a great weekend!



  1. Oh Denise,

    What a SWEET post this is! I just found myself smiling, then getting a big lump in my throat then smiling again!

    I can't even believe how many pics you had of past homes......really I have very little to document my past. Not sure, it is'nt that I am not sentimental, just, well back then it costs so much, and until VERY recently (bloggin) have I ever felt comfortable behind a lens. My poor children hardly have any pictures. Sigh.

    Anyway, honestly without a doubt I live in my dream house with my dream husband. I thank God every single day for the blessings.

    Thanks for a sweet post, it was very special. And have a REALLY wonderful weekend!

  2. This was great idea for a post. I wish I had more pictures of the various homes we've lived it. I don't. I do have boxes and boxes (and boxes and boxes...) of pictures of the memories we made there, though, so that should count.

    I love old houses and have always wanted to own one. We've never done it though. We did rent a wondeful old place between houses and I wanted to buy it, but no go...

    I guess our current house is my favorite, but I really loved that rental.

  3. I have very very few photos of former homes and my apartment. One or two of each, maybe. I think of my childhood home, especially back to when I was a child. Of course, my first apartment on my own was special, too. Have a great weekend, and I enjoyed these photos. I like the outdoor decorating for different seasons. xo

  4. Do you dream about the houses that you left? We have only been in this house, a brick ranch on 5 acres, for 3 years. We left a house where we lived for 18 years. I loved that house. We fixed it up nice and pretty to sell it and I asked my husband why we had moved because the house when staged for selling it was so beautiful. I guess we left it for two reasons: to eliminate the stairs and to have a bit of an acreage. But that is not the house that I dream about. I dream about our first home, a low income bi-level where we lived for 12 years. That's the one that I dream about. We began wonderful family traditions there that we carry on here, so I guess what makes a house a home, really are the traditions. Looks to be same for you with your lovely homes and great memories. You made me stop and think.

  5. Once again, your post has made me cry. But then they have special meaning to me. I didn't know you had so many pictures of the house in Greensboro. That's great! Really enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

    Love you, Mom

  6. Hi Denise~ I love seeing all your homes! Yes for me too~ books, flowers and fur-child make a house a home. Your Sears bungalow is adorable, but it would be inconvenient sharing a driveway in this day an age! How wonderful your husband's family home is civil war-era...if those walls could talk :)

  7. Hope all is OK with you! I keep checking to see if you have updated. Missing your posts!



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