Even though I moved out officially when I was 18 (16 years ago), I still think of my childhood house as "home." And really, nothing much has changed cosmetically - just a few more knickknacks on the shelves. Even my parents' wedding portrait is still up. I love this house and the land around it. It is one of the most peaceful places on earth, and I always feel like I've witnessed something special when I see a deer or the sky full of stars. (I'm lucky if I see one star in Chicago, and in general, I'm never out past dark for my own safety.)
There are so many complicated feelings and memories tied up in this house. Whenever we visit, I spend hours re-imagining the house; how we could change it to be more airy and comfortable, what we could do with the land and gardening. I have built my mom her own cottage across the driveway, and purchased the land across the street a few times in my head already. This would all help to bring back life to this house, rejuvenate it, and redeem it from the memories of difficult teenage years, bad decisions, divorce, and life disappointments.
But for now, I just come with all our laundry and babies, and pass the time trying to drink in the fresh air, and find peace from the craziness of our life at school and work in Chicago.