Jennifer and I were married in July 1989. We had an apartment in Clear Lake City, Texas that we really liked, but we knew we wanted a house as soon as we could. In March 1990 we signed papers on a house in an established neighborhood in the town where I grew up. The house was built in 1971 and we were told it was a good “Starter House”. There was nothing fancy about it since it is only 1,600 square feet. It had a detached 2 car garage which I really liked. The front door of the house faced one street while the garage and driveway faced another since we lived on the corner.

July 1991 we welcomed our son Will home. Our house transformed from two people to three people living in it. The following month a world event known as Desert Shield began and I watch it unfold on TV in our living room. We had family in the military over there and knew there was a chance we may never see them again. Desert Shield turned into Desert Storm. We soon welcomed home our loved ones when that conflict ended.

May 1993 we welcomed our daughter Allison home. She completed our family. Our house was now full. We started our family tradition of movie and pizza on Friday nights, which we continue to this day. Through the years we had other family members in the form of dogs and cats.

I have a ’78 Corvette that I bought in 1985. The garage space was at a minimum parking three cars in a two car garage which we did for several years. I ended up moving the Corvette behind the garage and set it up for long term parking. I protected it the best I could with tarps. In 2002 it was time to expand the garage so I could have a place to rebuild the Corvette. The foot print of the garage is now about the same size as the house. In 2007 we expanded the driveway to go along the side of the garage so I could park more cars.

As Will and Allison got their driver’s license, we bought cars for them. Will’s first car was a 1973 VW Super Beetle. Allison’s first car is a 1997 Jeep Cherokee. The VW Bug was not reliable enough so we got Will a 2006 Mini Cooper when he was about to finish high school. I parked the Bug in the backyard. I was given a 1953 Chevy Wagon that originally belonged to my Grandfather. Today, the ’53 Wagon is parked on the driveway on the side of the garage, the Mini Cooper is parked in front of the Wagon (when Will is home from school), the Bug and Corvette are parked in the expanded part of the garage while the Jeep is parked in the same part of the garage nightly. Jennifer’s and my daily drivers are parked in the original part of the garage. All of our cars have names, My Tahoe is Brutus. Jennifer’s Acadia is Archie. Will’s Mini is Newt and Allison’s Jeep is Kermit. The ’53 Chevy Wagon is Nellie Belle, the ’78 Corvette is Old Warrior and the Bug is Buglas.

Through the years we refinanced our house to get lower interest rates, but in doing so the 30 year mortgage started over. When we built the garage in 2002, we had to refinance again to pay for the expansion. That time I insisted that we go with a 15 year loan. Yesterday we received our paid off deed to the house.

I told you about our house, now let me tell you about our home. Home is our sanctuary from daily life. It is our safe place. When we first moved in, I walked the property line praying for God’s protection for all who came across the line. I prayed for sanctuary for those of us who live here. At that time it was just Jennifer and me. Over the years it covered Will and Allison as well as our many pets. There have been several times over the years when someone would visit and they would say, “I really feel at peace at being here.” I knew exactly what they were talking about and why.

Our house may not have the latest trend of style, but it has a good roof over our heads. It may not be big, but it keeps us comfortable. There are times when parts of the house may look like a hoarder lives here but we end up doing a spring cleaning to throw away or give away stuff we no longer need. Our pets may not be pure bred and well trained, but they all have a safe place to live where they are loved. My garage may not be the largest with the latest in cool cars and tools, but it is enough for me. For all of this, I am eternally grateful.