Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jessica Burson: My Time Capsule

Home is a very special place. Home is where the family is, where memories are made, but that does not have to be a child’s parent’s house, it can be grandma and grandpa’s. For me, the house I lived in with my family is special, but my grandparent’s house holds an even softer spot in my heart. Their house is located in Chillicothe, Missouri. High school students built the house thirty years ago. The Moffatt family was the first, and the only family to live in the house. I do not remember too many details about the first house I lived in when I was growing up, but I know everything about my grandparent’s house. Their house is a place because I hold a very intimate emotional connection to it, unlike a space, which I would not.

The house structurally would be classified as a space. It has four bedrooms and four bathrooms. The outside is the common brick and permanent siding with a two-car garage. Many houses are built like this one. There are no emotional connections to the basic structure and layout of the house, it is just a space to live inside of. The house itself is not symbolic of anyone or of anything; it is just a place of residence.

What makes a space become a place is what is associated with the house. It is the smells, the feelings, and the sounds that create the emotional connections I have to the house, which makes it a place. The house always smells like ham baking in the oven, or chocolate cookies. When I smell chocolate chip cookies baking, it makes me think of my grandparent’s house. Because of these smells I have a connection to the house, the house alone does not smell like anything memorable. To accompany the smells, I can always hear coffee brewing and sports playing on the television. Many people drink coffee and watch sports, but they are connected to this house because they are always present when I am there. The fact that these sounds are heard in this house, and that they impact my experiences while I am in that house makes it a place.

My emotional connections come from the people in my family and not the objects themselves, but they impact one another. I have memories of my grandparents and other family members involving objects in the house, which creates an emotional connection for me with those objects. The fact that the house is what holds these impactful objects makes the house a place; a space does not have anything I am connected to in it.

In the entry way there is a grandfather clock. Every Christmas morning I would lie in bed and listen for the chimes to know when I could finally get out of bed. There is a recliner in the living room that my grandpa sits in all the time, no matter what. I do not think anyone will sit in that chair once he is gone. My grandma has a china tea set that was passed down from her grandma, that means more than anything in the world to her. In the living room there is an ugly gold ceramic snail, which every grandchild has broken through the years. But, she just glues it back together and puts it back in its place on the coffee table. I could go on and on about objects that have special meaning because there is so much. But, my connection to the house explains my emotions for everything inside of the house. The house is just the physical object that I can connect all of my memories to.

An inside place is much more intimate than an outdoor place. The idea of the house just seems cozy and sentimental. It is a smaller more concrete place I feel like. The outdoors seems to have endless connections connected to it, but a house is personal. My grandma has given me things that used to be hers, and they do mean a lot to me, but the house is permanent, or at least semi-permanent. The house is never going to move or change very drastically. Objects can be lost or broken or thrown away, but not the house. The reason that the house holds so much emotional connection is because that is where everything happened, that is where the objects gained their importance, without that place, nothing else would hold the meaning that it does. The house is a home and place. My grandparents live there, my mom was mostly raised there, and I have spent every single holiday there, and many weekends. That house is the gathering place for the extended family, where stories are retold, and birthday parties are held. It is a safe haven, play ground, movie theatre, and restaurant. The house is versatile and holds many secrets and many stories. It has seen happy days and sad days, and yet it still looks the same. The house is the one place that always makes me feel safe and happy. It is the place I long for when I am home sick. Once my grandparents are gone, that house will still hold their memories. That house is like a time capsule. It holds all the memories and connections that I have of my life. I may not be able to remember an event or incident on a regular basis, but just being in that house or thinking about it, helps me recall.

A place is a special location that a person has an emotional connection to. My connection to my grandparent’s house is deep and is about more than one happy memory; it is a lifetime of happy memories. This place makes me feel apart of something, and reminds me that I am never alone; I will always have reminders of the people in my life. A space is a location that you can go through and never think of again, but a place never leaves you. Even after my grandparents are long gone, and another family lives in that house, it will still be a place to me. Just because the people are gone, does not mean that my connection to the house is gone, it will never go away.

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