Four walls, no matter how they are beautified, do not make home

May 19, 2012 10:23 am
Heads up, folks! The phone call came early last Tuesday morning. It was “John,” who wanted to tell me that I was to receive a new medical card in the mail and he needed to verify some information.

Since I had had some recent dealings in this matter, I thought it may be legitimate, so I listened and verified a few things. He already had my name, phone number and mailing address, so they seemed safe enough. Then he asked, “As further identification to be sure you are the correct person, what is the name of your bank?” Ah, hah! John wanted my money. I hung up the phone. Be sure and do likewise, my friends.


Have you ever noticed that sometimes less seems like more? And, vice versa?

That may sound like a hard thing to figure out, but sometimes it makes itself very clear.

I had the necessity, or opportunity, of living in two different houses in the approximate same time frame, so the comparisons were easy to make. They became apparent just in the normal everyday living one summer.

One morning, as I sat having breakfast and looking out the window at the doe and her fawn selecting their breakfast morsels outside the fenced yard, a feeling of contentment overcame me. The family of quail were also busy inside the yard where the freshly-mown lawn was still wet with dew.

Hummingbirds argued for first place at the feeding bar and robins flew between trees, looking ground-ward for the sight of their breakfast worms.

We were all doing the same thing for the same reason but in slightly different ways.

We were hungry, so we sought to fill our tummies also in slightly different ways.

The birds and animals would always have to work for their sustenance whereas I had reached the point in my life where others filled my needs. I no longer strove to plant the grain, milk the cow or dry the cereal raisins for my breakfast tray. I appreciated that.

I shopped the convenience stores for a variety of selections, taking them home in boxes and bottles and plastic-wrap to eat at my own convenience.

The critters sought their daily meals dependent on what nature (and townsfolk with flowers in bloom) provided at each time of day and season of year.

I was grateful that I was of the human species.

How easily I am led astray simply by observing wildlife habits in comparison with my own, for I really was speaking of things with which to compare one’s quality of life. I suppose that could be considered one.

I won’t go into the reasons why I was offered the choice of two places in which to reside for a term, but acknowledge that it came about so that I could compare the two places and report on my findings.

The one place was certainly well-worth considering. It was convenient in every way. I would be hard-pressed to find serious faults to it.

The other was inconvenient in almost every way, and I could fault something about it every day.

The one was the “more” of it and the other the “less.”

Now you can see what I mean about the more and the less of this particular discourse but not the why of less seeming to be more.

It took two years of close comparison to understand why it would be difficult to choose between the houses, should that become a necessity or even an offered choice.

The more was obviously the better selection. Why, then, between the two, did I hesitate to leave the one of “less” for the one of “more?”

It came to me one day when I least expected it.

Four walls, no matter how they are beautified, do not make a home. They can become a place of convenience where life is made somewhat easier and are certainly appreciated.

But, sometimes it doesn’t fill the needs of the heart. I was lonely there.

That’s when “less” became “more.”

Something I learned from this experience seems so very simple in looking back to my reactions.

In order for a house to be a Home, it has to have Love in it.

I wonder if businesses work in the same way.


Veteran newspaperwoman Dorothy Swart Fleshman is a La Grande native. Reach her at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it