In February 2007 I bought a house that is to become the 'De Jong residence'. Slowly, but surely its is becoming more and more like 'home'. First my things got moved in from Cleveland, then Jen's things got moved in from Grand Rapids and even though all the boxes weren't even unpacked more and more 'stuff' was being moved in.
So now we have a lot of stuff in a house. That doesn't make it a home. What makes it a home is the feelings you're having when you're in it and with whom you'll be in it.
Well, you all know what the 'with whom' part of my story is, but the feeling you're having is a little more difficult. One of the things we're both bringing in is a a sense of starting over.
For Jen it is finally giving the word 'family' and 'marriage' a new and meaningfull feeling, for me it is an end to the process of moving from my parents place, through my first 'house' in Belgium' and my apartment in Cleveland to having my own 'home'.
The first 'house' (which I did own, but didn't really make it home) was more of a learning experience, the first time from underneath the protection of the parents. The apartment was rented, so never really was 'home'. And then I met Jen...
I was finally ready to settle down again and buy my own house again. It is amazing how a girl can be the catalyst for some things every man (at least most of us) have inside, but are kind of keeping under wraps.
At our Michigan shower Beth, one of our friends wrote down a quote for us that really hit 'home':" The most precious possession that ever comes to a man in this world is a woman's heart." It is by Joshua Holland and couldn't be more true and I'm so glad Jen came around for me and that I now have a 'home' to start a family in.
To sum it up, just look at the picture. Jen was taking it and bought the flag, I put it up and -while having some reservations putting up a Dutch flag in a rural Mid-western US town - after it was up it made it more like home since I was now putting a bit of my old 'home' into my new 'home' inspired by my STB wife Jen.
So, I guess it is true 'Home is where the heart is...'