Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

A House is Not a Home

6 March 2019


On 22 February, I found myself a new home near the Belgian border. I didn’t expect finding my new home in the south. For a long time, I had been looking east (eg, Achterhoek, DrentheTwente). A few days later, I learned that a Belgian friend had died on February 22 (my blog). Somehow, it feels like she had helped me finding my new home.

From early to mid February, I was sick with a nasty flu. Shortly after my recovery, I found out that 3 houses in Drenthe, which had been high on my list, were no longer available. I wasn’t upset as I felt that it had to be like this. Early March, a news article announced that smaller gas fields in Drenthe will be exploited again, causing concern over new earthquakes. I don’t believe in coincidences.

My new home had been for sale for many months. The owner had even decreased his asking price. Based on the interior and exterior pictures, I decided to pay a visit. The ride south was more pleasant than the ride east. I got excited the moment I exited the highway and noticed the surrounding forests. I love the tranquility of forests, including my nearby city forest.

Unlike other house visits, this property was exactly as advertised. Housing pictures often challenge reality which may easily lead to disappointment. At the end of the visit, I sat in a chair and then a comforting feeling suddenly emerged: this is my new home! I decided to make an offer on the spot, which was accepted a few hours later.

I haven’t felt any glimpse of buyer’s remorse. Instead, I feel happy, lucky and satisfied about my purchase. Usually, I dislike moving my stuff from one house to another. This time it feels different: I hardly cannot wait moving out, after having lived here for almost 26 years.

Several days ago, I was approached by one of my neighbours. She asked if I had superfluous stuff for Eritrean asylum seekers. I felt relieved because my children are not interested in their former stuff. It feels good giving away (good) stuff to people who really need it.

Over the years, I have bought many clothes that still occupy my closets. Many of these clothes haven’t been used for years. A few days ago, I made my first shipment to a clothing donation bin. Several more visits will follow. I dislike the very thought of selling my used stuff on websites and collecting the money at my doorstep.

“I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.” A quote from West with the Night by Beryl Markham (1902-1986).

A House is Not a Home (1964) by Luther Vandross (1951-2005)

Live at the 1988 NAACP Image Awards

artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

A chair is still a chair

Even when there’s no one sittin’ there

But a chair is not a house

And a house is not a home

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise


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