This is Home

By Megan

As I sit at my desk in the stillness of this Sunday night after a busy, active weekend for our family, I imagine the front of our home as a sleepy, peaceful face, her blinds half-closed like drooping eyelids, her walkway tossed lazily across the front lawn, anĀ arm across a chest slowly rising and falling in gentle, untroubled slumber.

This summer marked our fourth here in Illinois and in our house. I remember the first summer, one of new everything. In each day of that summer we learned something new about the Midwest, about our little prairie town, about the families living to this side, to that side, across, and across and up two, down one, and we learned about this house. I remember how the sun shone so brightly through the kitchen windows those first few mornings that we all had to sit on one side of the table to eat breakfast until we got a window treatment for the back door. I remember the first daybreak I took my coffee out to the front porch and sat and watched the neighborhood come to life, one family at a time.

Back then everything was glaringly bright and new and we compared it all to our old lives, our old house, “back home.” This new house and all that surrounded it were strange to us, different, not quite awkward, but noticeably stiff and unworn, like back-to-school blue jeans or a book just creaking open for the first time.

But that summer brought a brilliant fall, and fall the long, deep, oddly fortifying winter, and winter the radiant, redeeming spring and then another warm, lively summer, and as the seasons danced in and out, the simple, beautiful, remarkably predictable rhythms and patterns of days, weeks, months and years as a family, as dwellers in this house, as neighbors and friends of these families, as part of this warm and caring community, have weathered and softened and smoothed our transplanted lives and taught us how to belong here, to compare nothing now to a home that’s somewhere else, for our home surrounds us now.

Our lives gladly flow with the rhythms and patterns of this place and these people and these seasons, and this house — this warm, welcoming stone-fronted cottage proudly wearing a fall wreath on her blue front door like a cherished brooch she’s saved for a special occasion — is no longer lumber and glass and aluminum and steel stacked over and around us. Now she breathes in and out with the lives of the people in and around her and she holds herself softly to us like a proud and loving grandmother.

She’s peacefully resting this night, as the children dream and my husband and I wind down the day in quiet togetherness. We are safe at home under her roof.

Megan’s home away from home is FriedOkra.

4 Responses to This is Home
  1. Meredith
    September 14, 2009 | 7:42 am

    These are all some really awesome ideas!
    We decorate around here all the time like it’s Halloween. It started off with a comment from my then 3 year old who called me a ‘Mean Old Witch!’ in the fabric department at Walmart, while my husband was around then corner. Then this older lady who really DID look like a witch (nose, hooked with moles and all) started ‘commisterating’ with me and it just snowballed from there. Then everytime I parented, I was a ‘mean old witch’ next door neighbors kids caught on. My pet name from my husband became ‘witchy-poo’. Suddenly, I seem to be the neighborhood Glinda! People started getting me witch stuffed animals, tchochkies, wall hangings, then it became everything scary. So I have a witch shoe cookie holder, an Oogie Boogie Man blanket on my couch, a witches head holding a plant, a broom hanging on the wall by the front door… The kids love halloween and beg me to buy more stuff! Now I have more ideas on things to make with them. Plus I’m teaching the older boy to sew, and monster pillows are right up his alley LOL!
    Thanks so much for the cool ideas!

  2. Meredith
    September 14, 2009 | 7:45 am

    Shoot! I’m sorry! I clicked the wrong link on my reader apparently!
    However, I did love your entry, the language is very evocative and brought to mind my yard and my life. Moving from California to Georgia is a strange thing, but somehow, this is home now!

  3. Hannah
    September 14, 2009 | 10:28 pm

    I really love this post. It reminds me somewhat of the years we spent in our home in SC, where we were the first owners of our brand new house, which felt like a hotel at first, and by the time we moved five years later, had so many memories banked there (including the births of two daughters in the upstairs tub).

  4. Kelly
    September 16, 2009 | 12:36 pm

    The concept of home can be elusive. In my pre-kid days, back when we moved about every 18 months, I would have deep discussions with my friends about what home really meant, where we would feel most at home, the longing for home that betrays a longing for the eternal.

    But then God healed my marriage. And we were blessed with these three little miracles. And now I say to them (in the words of Randy Travis), “Anywhere you are, that’s my home.”

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