Growing up, home was always our house at 1045 Lambley Road in Landisville.
Mom and Dad moved from a mile away when I was around 1 year old. I never remember the “old” house, but Lambley Road will always be home. And although I don’t remember much of my first five years, I was an only child until Matt came into the world.
This house was more than a house. But why? The biggest reason is the love that was present every day.
Mom and Dad supported us all of the time, working hard so we never went without; allowing us to make mistakes; correcting us when wrong; playing games, cards and baseball; attending our concerts; encouraging us in our interests; hosting many family reunions; and just being family.
The big rule was never quit in the middle of something. If you commit to doing Scouts or a sport, you will finish the season and then call it quits. Home is love, safety and support.
Family was always important. Visiting my grandparents was a weekly thing. Saturday morning was the visit to Grandma and Grandpa Enders. Dad would say “I’m going over home,” even though home was our house as a family.
That is where I have found myself, as I have a family of my own. Sometimes saying, “I’m going to Mom and Dad’s,” yet meaning, “I’m going over home.” Grandpa was always fixing something, and as kids, we were always learning.
Yard sales, fixing small engines, changing oil in the car, sharing family and church stories were all part of life at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.
Home is passing on of traditions.
Mom would visit Nana Hollinger on a regular basis, but would say, “I’m going to Mother’s.”
Papa Hollinger died shortly after Matt was born, so I do not remember much beyond going to their grocery store in Rohrerstown and going along on his school bus run.
Nana made her house a home in the way she shared her love with the family — always ready to play Rook, Scrabble or any other game she had on the shelf. Home is family.
Grandma Enders died before Grandpa. When Grandpa was in the nursing home, he would often refer to “going home,” meaning back to the house in Mountville.
The last visit I had with him, I could tell he was ready to die. He missed Grandma terribly. That time, when he said, “I want to go home,” I heard it as “I want to go home to Heaven to be with Dot.”
He was ready to die. Home is Heaven.
Home has had a different feeling with having my own family and having moved multiple times to multiple states. I remember Dad saying to me years ago, “You will make anywhere you live home.” He knew that we needed to go where the jobs are in ministry and could not stay close to “home” all of the time. Home is where the heart is.
The congregations we served in Ohio and Indiana became pseudo grandparents for Micah and Kara after they were born.
We made our houses in Dayton and North Manchester into homes. The church family gave a sense of home away from home. Coming to Ridgeway Church of the Brethren in 2006, I declared that we are moving back home, meaning Pennsylvania, and closer to family. Harrisburg has been our home for the last 13 years, and we have made the house a home, just as Mom and Dad made 1045 a home on Lambley Road.
We do everything for the kids — Liz doing most of the school connections with PTO and volunteering in the school, connecting to the community through school, church and various community organizations.
I connect with the community through baseball, softball, church and the hospital, serving with some community organizations.
Most of this would not happen without the kids’ involvement in their activities. When we have time at home as a family, we find ways to connect with each other even with our varied interests.
Our house is a home through the love we share, and even in the messiness of life. I wouldn’t change it for the world. Home is family, traditions, comfort, security and being together.
However, home is beginning to change again with Mom and Dad recently agreeing to the sale of their house. This has been coming for a couple of years as they have been downsizing.
What has been anticipatory grief for me has just become more real with the announcement of the sale agreement. It is not mine to sell, but it is a house full of memories from being a home.
This is the only place I have known as a home for 17 of my first 18 years of life. I have lived away from that home now for 27 years, and it remains the one place I have lived the longest.
It will always be “home,” even though home is also a feeling of being with family. A lot of love was poured into relationships and the house itself.
Houses get built, remodeled and eventually demolished. Relationships get built and remodeled, and continue no matter where they reside until death. Relationships become home, and I hope that is how I remodel my view of home when Mom and Dad move to Homestead Village.
Grief will be present for a while as it is with any changes. We’ve had our last Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter meals around the table at 1045 Lambley Road. Yet, that table will be going to Homestead in the fall, and there will be more meals to be had with the same feeling of home around family.
Will it be a different feeling of home in a new physical space? Only time will tell. Home is a feeling.
For 1045, it will soon be goodbye. Soon there will be no more swimming in the pool or playing at the pool table. There will be no more baseball in the side yard or creating a baseball game by pitching the racquetball against the garage door.
No walls need fixing because a certain someone gets mad at his brother and kicks a hole in the wall on his way to his room.
There will be no more sibling spats, no more frustrating nights of homework at the kitchen table. No more crafts being made in the garage and basement for Mom’s craft shows. No more mechanical projects for Dad to fix. No more music in the living room from lessons or practice. No more games around the table in that kitchen.
Home. Is it a house? Is it Heaven? Is it where your heart is? Is it where your family is? Yes. All of that and more. Houses are temporary, but home is also a feeling. Letting go of what was, but holding onto the memories, will help us live in the present and create new memories that will help us move into the future.
The Rev. Greg Bidgood Enders lives in Harrisburg, where he is supervisor for spiritual care services at UPMC Pinnacle. His wife, the Rev. Elizabeth Bidgood Enders, is pastor of Ridgeway Community Church of the Brethren in Harrisburg. He wrote this story last year. His parents, Jay and Nancy Enders, have since moved to Lancaster from the former family home in Landisville.
The Old Line Youth Livestock Expo will give children and teens a chance to show their animals even if the fair was canceled.