On The Fly…A House Is Not A Home


The great lyricist Hal David wrote that memorable phrase, and I’ve never felt the deep truth of it until now. We’re gradually settling into our painted lady, vintage 1875, but are still clearing out the house in which we lived for twenty seven years, fifteen miles west of here on the Memphis road, but now it’s a hollow shell….just a construct of bricks and mortar and nice floors, waiting for life to be breathed into it again. The walls are stripped of art and photographs, the studio relocated and our memories are with the children and grand-children who thrived at that house, but now feel only like ghosts around the place.

The creek is babbling away, down that steep hill, on its way to the nearby Cumberland, neither knowing or caring that we’re gone. Our neighbors, the groundhogs, generations of them, are similarly disinterested…they’ve got their own residences to tend to in the warrens of the creek bank.

Now the Nashville skyline is at the bottom of the street, over the river, but closer than I’d ever imagined it would be. The charming historic houses of Edgefield are our new reality, the only sound of running water the fountain in the back garden. The old place wasn’t truly rural, although when we first got there the county line was just up the road, and the big box stores and heavy traffic were yet to come. We’d been living in the thick of mid-town, Elliston Place, so it felt pretty country to us at the time, out there on the Memphis road.

Transitions are part of the life experience, and as yet the sea of cardboard boxes is still a reminder that although the move has taken place, we’re still not truly moved. Somehow, although we had decided not to do a farewell party, it happened anyway, a smaller gathering than the riotous Boxing Day bashes that welcomed hundreds over so many years, but no less fun, with the nearest and dearest in attendance, the last hurrah of our basement pub.

And suddenly, while I’m writing this at Pink, I’m knee-deep in kiddies- some of my lineage, some not, all scurrying around among these new four walls, boxes notwithstanding, pumping the place full of the unexplainable.  Feels like HOME.


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