Thanksgiving and Thoughts of Home Sweet Home

By Bill Primavera

For many years my journalistic moniker has been The Home Guru, a column originally adopted to help promote my business as a realtor, working with home buyers and sellers.

But through the years, this column seems to have developed a life of its own, apart from buying, selling and maintaining, but also closely identified with comfort, love and security.

All of that has been very important to me from a young age.

The first home I ever had on my own was a basement apartment in Williamsburg, Va., where I went to school at the College of William & Mary. In those days, freshmen and sophomores were required to live on campus, but I felt that I qualified for an exception. The dorms there were perfectly acceptable, but to me, dorm life was not ideal. My father had just passed away in my first semester and my mother, having some difficulty adjusting to single life, made a decision to move in with my older sister.

So, for the first time, I really had no home to speak of, and that was quite unsettling to me. Guess I’ve always been a homebody at heart. That’s when I decided to tell a white lie to the Dean of Men, telling him that my mother was moving to town and we were renting a home together. Instead, at 18 years old, I set up my own first home.

It truly was in the basement, although the windows were at above-ground level. It was very damp. My first purchase, even before a bed, was a dehumidifier, so that I could breathe.

From there, I bought off-white paint to brighten up the walls and set out to create a pleasant setting in which to live, study and host get-togethers for my friends. With a young body, I was able to endure sleeping on a makeshift bed composed of a hollow door topped with a layer of foam rubber, set up on four cinder blocks. It was quite primitive, but it was my own first home.

After graduation, I immediately moved to New York City to pursue my career ambitions in the communications field. Jobs were hard to come by at that time and I had to take what I could get – serving as a clerk in an office supply company.

My living circumstances were not much better. I shared a studio apartment with two other young men with whom I had little in common. It was my burning desire to set up a beautiful and comfortable place on my own to call home. For a bachelor, I did pretty well at that. I acquired some good pieces of furniture, wall décor and accessories to set up an attractive place.

When it came time for me to buy a good sofa from B. Altman (remember that wonderful store?), I invited a female friend from work to join me, asking for her opinion. Interestingly enough, that friend who came with me that day developed into a romantic interest and it wasn’t too long before she was sitting on that sofa as my wife in our first apartment together.

During this Thanksgiving season, I am grateful for having the desire and means to set up a comfortable home, the setting for all that has happened as my family has grown and prospered.

These thoughts come back with gratitude as I think about my good fortune in living well in a home I love, surrounded by comfort, beauty and most importantly, my loved ones. And what’s better than that?

Bill Primavera is a realtor associated with William Raveis Real Estate and founder of Primavera Public Relations, Inc., the longest-running public relations agency in

Westchester (www.PrimaveraPR.com). His real estate site is www.PrimaveraRealEstate.com. To engage the services of The Home Guru and his team to market your home for sale, call 914-522-2076.

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