Friday, May 25, 2012

Words, Words, Words about Home

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body." --Benjamin Franklin

"It was good to walk into a library again. It smelled like home." --Elizabeth Kostova

“Happiness doesn't lie in conspicuous consumption and the relentless amassing of useless crap. Happiness lies in the person sitting beside you and your ability to talk to them. Happiness is clear-headed human interaction and empathy. Happiness is home. And home is not a house--home is a mythological conceit. It is a state of mind. A place of communion and unconditional love. It is where, when you cross its threshold, you finally feel at peace.” --Dennis Lehane

Home means different things to different people. For some unfortunate souls, the word conjures the scent of bitterness and pain, insecurity and fear. Most people, however, smell fresh-baked cookies, warm wood, and safety from whatever mysterious monsters are "out there." Home can be a place of refuge and recovery, nourishment and nurture.

Home is important. Home is here.

I had no idea how divided I felt over my home until I unloaded the extra one. Monday night, we finally closed on our old house. What a weird experience this move has been, a Dantesque Limbo, perhaps, or, even better, Purgatorio. It was a long time of transition, moving stuff and moving hearts to arrive at a place called home.

I'm here now, and finally moving forward.

I think George is here, too, especially when we sit on the patio and listen to the birdsong and breeze rustling the leaves, and saturate ourselves in green.

Jack is here. On his last visit at the old house, I said, "We're saying goodbye to the old house." So he walked up to the closed garage doors and told the house it was a good house and he would miss it. And then he got into the car and buckled up. "Are we going home now, Mom?"

Yes, Jack. We are.

Nick isn't here yet. Poor child. His heart still feels divided between the old house and new. He misses the old, and letting it go requires a period of grief for him. His time in Purgatorio isn't over yet, which breaks my heart, but he'll get here. Eventually.

My task now consists primarily of nurturing this brick building into something comfortable and useful, a place of communion and unconditional love. A place of peace. A place that smells of books and food and hearth fire. A place we all, including the reluctant Nick, call home.

Are you home? Why or why not?


  1. I am home. You are so right; it's not the place it's the spirit.

    I divorced five years ago after 32 years of marriage. I lived with my mom for a bit; then jumped right into a new relationship.

    Our first abode was an apartment; which didn't feel like home. Probably due as much to the evolving relationship as to the temporary nature of our stay there.

    The house we live in now became a home as our relationship solidified. We grew into the house and it settled us. I think it really felt like home when we decided to get married.

    I anxiously await our patio project. Brick delivery is promised for next week. I cannot wait to sit out there and enjoy the end of the day.

    My ex and I moved when our children were 7 and 4. After six months in the new house; my youngest asked, "When are we going home?" It about broke my heart.

    He did finally adjust; I think warm weather helped. We'd moved in December and it was a looong cold winter.

  2. I am home whenever I'm with my family, either at my house or theirs. When my parents and sister moved out of state, and when I visited for the first time, my sister said "Welcome Home." At the time I thought it was odd that she said that since it was never "my" home, but now I get it. It was their home and I should feel like it was my home too because I'm family, and where family is, home is too.

  3. Oh yes, I'm home. We lived in our first house for 18 years. It was fine. It was ours. But when we moved into our current home...ahhh.
    Now this is HOME. Even turning into the driveway gives me that feeling of comfort and ahhhhh. I don't know what other way to convey the feeling I have. We're home :)

    I hope that, soon, your Nick will feel at home.

  4. My husband and I got married a year and a half ago. Our first "home" was my apartment, and it never really felt like home to my hubby. We moved to Fort Wayne one year ago, and although we are in a small two bedroom upstairs apartment, it is our home for now. Whenever we go some place and drive back to our parking spot, we look at each other, and I usually say, "We're home!" It really is a good feeling.

  5. I'm home! For me, home is the people you are with that you love. I discovered, since my mother sold the home I grew up in about 12 years ago, that I can be at home in the next house she lived in for 9 years, or her assisted living studio she has been in for 3 years, or my sister's home where I stay when I visit my mother. After my last trip, I called my sister to let her know I made it safely and said, "I'm home! My NJ home."

    It makes me very happy that when each of my five grandchildren visit, they call my guest room "MY ROOM." They are on the right track!

  6. Home for me is too quiet today. Yesterday my kitty Reba went to kitty heaven. Miss her, but still this home is my sanctuary from the outside world. Thinking of getting a dog - is it too soon? Dogs were my first pet/love.

  7. I'm so happy for you that you sold the old place so you are no longer doing the splits between the two. And I think your Nick is a sentimental little guy and it's a compliment to you that he misses the old home so much - you obviously made it a place of many happy memories for him. As new ones are created in the new home, he'll transition in his own time. Bless you all in your new haven.

  8. "Home" to me isn't a building with walls and a roof ... Home to me could be a cardboard box along a riverbank as long as you are with the person/people you love.


Thanks so much for taking time to comment!