House or home?


Felines are all cats, but a mountain lion is more than a tabby. Canines are all dogs, but a timber wolf is more than a puppy. An aircraft carrier is a boat, but it sure is a lot more than a canoe with delusions of grandeur.

In the same way, ordinary things become extraordinary every day. Mix sugar, eggs and flour, bake it up, and it’s a birthday cake. Add butter and cocoa and it’s a rich, creamy chocolate cake nobody can resist.

Life is full of ordinary things that we make extraordinary. Unfortunately, we hardly ever notice. As a result, life is much more boring than it needs to be.

Go to a farm. Get to know your bread from seed-sewing to harvest, and from flour milling to baking. Then have a toasted slice of that miracle with butter and jelly for breakfast and see if it doesn’t taste better than usual.

The same goes for sand that we make into crystal cut glass, iron ore and mud that we turn into skyscrapers, and pale gray silkworm caterpillars that we turn into beautiful clothes.

This week, your Jamestown Gazette brings you another miracle of turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. And this time, one of the raw materials used in the work is something than cannot be mined out of the ground, grown from the dirt, or harvested from living creatures.

Our cover story this week features the miracle of turning a house into a home. That does not happen by simply living inside the building.
Here are three old sayings to consider when you think of making your house into a home:

  • A house is made of bricks and beams. A home is made of hopes and dreams.
  • Home is where love resides, memories are created, friends always belong, and laughter never ends.
  • Home is not a place…it’s a feeling.

This week contributing writer Stephanie McCraw takes us inside the making of a TV special featuring the makeover of a very special Chautauqua County home in Ashville, the home of Cody and Jessica Willett. We will accompany Montel Williams, television personality, radio talk show host, and actor, who has turned his creativity toward making homes for US war vets struggling to recover from mental and physical trauma and reenter civilian life.
Montel’s TV special, one of a number slated for airing this year, is called Military Makeover with Montel. This will be a home improvement series that aims to honor and respect soldiers who have served their country.

The aim of the show is to rebuild the homes— and even the lives—of these brave service men and women. Stephanie invites us to join Montel in repaying veterans for the service and sacrifices they’ve made. Look for Militarymakeover.TV.

Even in a wonderland like Oz, Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home.”

It has been said that “Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.” This week, make sure the indispensable ingredient that turns a house into a home – the love of all inside it – continues to fill your home as you read the story of the Willetts.

Enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.