“Home wasn't a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.”
Sarah Dessen \\ What Happened to Goodbye
I grew up a Navy kid. Every two or so years, my family would pick up and move to a different house, different town. Different state - the possibility, even, of a different country. Before I'd started high school, I'd moved eight or nine different times.
Some of you imagine that a life like mine was difficult. Maybe it was, but I liked it. It was just a part of who we were as a family. It was the way we worked, and we worked together.
I always liked mirrors, too. Closet doors, hallway mirrors, hand mirrors, rearview mirrors. And in a house filled with girls... wellllll....
And shadows on the wood floor in the morning light.
Mom and Dad bought this little painting at an art sale in a park when they owned their first apartment. It's been one of my FAVORITE things ever since I can remember. I recall sitting for long periods of time and studying that little wave, watching the blues and whites and wishing that I could feel the salt breeze on my face. Just for a second.
We've always had pictures of the people that some of us never met. Our house was always filled with stories, too... especially of my Mom's parents. Both Grandma and Grandpa died before I was born, but I feel like I knew them. Know them.
We've always had music, too. The piano - a prominent piece of furniture that goes in and out of tune regularly. Various instruments coming and going out of the house. Stacks of cassette tapes, later, cds, and always the crackly static of the radio through strains of Vivaldi and the Beach Boys.
And plenty of music to make.
Over the years, Mom's collected and made stacks of quilts. We use them like crazy around here...
they all mean something different.
Smelling like wood smoke and laughter after an evening of sitting by the bonfire... maybe a few drops from a melting marshmallow to be scrubbed out in the morning.
Curled up around two or three of us at a time, with hot chocolate, watching those black and white Steve McQueen shows or Pride and Prejudice on a winter afternoon.
And the many (many many many) chilly mornings, piled around me on the couch. Daddy reads aloud and we all follow in our open Bibles as the sun melts the frost off the windows, peeking up from the mountains to the East.
The dish cupboard that has always had a place in our dining room or kitchen, and held many hours of entertainment when I was young. Especially that lock and key...
Colors. We've always been a house of colors.
Pillows and early morning light. THIS is home.
So is the well-loved and incredibly hipsta couch that was in Mom's living room while she grew up.
The one we're NOT supposed to put our feet on...
There's always been room and time for projects, too. Buttons, thread, paper, scissors, fabric, stickers, glitter, paint, you name it. We did it.
And whenever we could, there was a porch. Some places (like Guam) made porch sitting/decorating a little difficult. But those Southern roots came out.
Daddy's desk. Instead of being away like when he was in the Navy, he works downstairs at the desk sitting downstairs in the basement. But I still remember the feeling of visiting Daddy and work and exploring - going through every single drawer in hope of a peppermint or butterscotch. And they were always in the same place. The drawer we saved for last.
Blue glass jars. Oh, and that garage sale sailboat pitcher - often filled with sun tea and fresh mint. ahhhh....
Our kitchen. Always a place for experimenting and delicious things. From my first batch of cupcakes, to cooking lasagna for guests, and all those Sunday mornings in between, flipping blueberry pancakes with Dad, I've always loved the kitchen. It's like the hub of our house. Despite the fact that it's one of the smaller rooms in our current home.
It's where we dance barefoot and wrestle and tell jokes. It's where we make mistakes and ruin recipes; but we can also feed the family and discover new things.
Barbequed chicken covers a multitude of sins. And cinnamon rolls cure bucketloads of complaints.
Coats. Jackets. Sweatshirts. hanging up downstairs by the fireplace - warming up so you can step out into those frosty nights. I always love coming in after doing the chores on below zero mornings... hanging up my barn jacket and stomping the snow off my boots before running to the wood stove to heat up numb fingers. Definitely coming home.
The woodpile... always changing yet always the same. It's hard work and it burns up in no time during the long winter nights. But it's yet another chance for us to work together as a family, to be together. Filling it up is always like completing a race.
ohhhhhhh... somehow my tour took me two mornings. I guess I just kept finding things...
Though it hasn't been around the world with us, I love this poster that my little sis hung in our room while I was away at college. I wake up facing it every morning. It's awesome inspiration. To say the least.
The clothesline - just the epitome of summer country life. Dripping swimsuits and drying denim jeans. Kitchen towels and Sunday dresses. Colors and threads that mean things.
Then of course, there's the garden. But that's a story for another morning.