What would you call the structure you live in? Would it be a house, or a home? While the words "house" and "home" possess similar definitions and can be used interchangeably-- after all both do provide some sort of shelter or protection- they embody very different connotations, and their usage evokes different emotional responses.
A home does not have to be a building, or even something physical. The song, My Old Kentucky Home by Stephen Foster, makes it clear a home is not just a dwelling, but rather the place one grows up, and always remembers, perhaps more positively than is warranted. (After all, where do birds make music all day?) In our national anthem, we sing, "land of the free, and home of the brave." We think of our country as our home; although it is not a structure, the place where we have grown up and where people share our values and our beliefs.
Our place of origin will always be considered our home; wether someone moves away from it and maybe hasn't lived there for some time, it will always be significant to them.
Brick, wood, vinyl siding... these are the ways we build a house. A house only becomes a home, though, after it has been lived in. When memories are formed, when pictures of children growing up and the family all together at Christmas or Hanukkah line the walls, maybe when little colored drawings by children adorn the smudged refrigerator, that's when a house may be called a home. A home also reflects the personality of the residents through its design- where the furniture is positioned, the color of the wallpaper, and the carpeting. You would probably have a very different image of a person if you walk into their living room and it has...