Of course, my parent’s house will always feel like home, in a sense. Yes, they’ve moved a couple of times since I was a child and when I go home to visit, I still have trouble finding measuring cups in the kitchen. And they’ve replaced most of the furniture I abused in my infancy, but their house still is an extension of themselves in a way that makes it homey to me.
When people ask me where I’m from, I name St. Louis as my home town, though that’s not technically correct (sorry, DuBois). And my college roommates would agree that the hermitage in the back of Olds and that corner room at the top of Mauck were as homey as such tiny, ugly, impersonal spaces could be. Hillsdale, though, for all its charms, was never home.
I’ve lived in Colorado Springs for nearly four years now: first in slanted, quirky “Victorian” that was advertised as having plenty of “personality” (unfortunately, it was the sort of personality that let horrible drafts in through the window casings and spewed sewage up the bathtub drain), next in a nice, decent downtown apartment that housed more than its fair share of parties back in my days as a single girl, and now in an even quirkier Victorian apartment with pheasants on the wall paper and a totem pole out front. I think Zach and I have made it into a pretty comfortable living space…but this can’t really be home, can it? No matter how nice the house is, I don’t think my real home can ever be in a place where the grass is brown from July to May.
So where is it going to be? I don’t know the answer to that question yet, but I’m eager to figure it out. One of Zach’s favorite blogs—The Art of Manliness–posted a thoughtful article on the subject today: The Importance of Where You Live. I’m a fan of this site, too. For all its emphasis on masculinity, it’s usually geared toward the good and worthy goal of living well.
I’m sure I’ll be revisiting this topic: it’s not one of those thought trains that ever really arrives at a station. In the meantime, enjoy this collection of thoughts on home from minds much better than my own:
“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, They have to take you in.”
— Robert Frost
“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.”
— C.S. Lewis (Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold)
“Every traveler has a home of his own, and he learns to appreciate it the more from his wandering.”
— Charles Dickens
“The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.”
— Louisa May Alcott
“We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home, but not quite knowing what or where home is. We glimpse it sometimes in our dreams, or as we turn a corner, and suddenly there is a strange, sweet familiarity that vanishes almost as soon as it comes.”
— Madeleine L’Engle
“A home without a cat – and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat – may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?”
— Mark Twain
“She conceived of life as a road down which one traveled, an easy enough road through a broad country, and that one’s destination was there from the very beginning, a measured distance away, standing in the ordinary light like some plain house where one went in and was greeted by respectable people and was shown to a room where everything one had ever lost or put aside was gathered together, waiting.”
— Marilynne Robinson (Housekeeping)
“Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.”
— Jane Austen