Saturday, October 08, 2022

Home Sweet House, Hopefully A Series




"You can have more than one home. You can carry
your roots with you, and decide where they grow."
HENNING MANKELL


In a recent issue, Victoria magazine invited its readers to respond to the prompt below:
"Reflecting on all of the abodes where you have lived, which house truly holds your heart? Whether it was the home that shaped your childhood memories, a humble cottage where you first set up housekeeping, or the place where you reside today, we would love to hear what makes this haven special."
When I read this, I thought what a lovely subject to think deeply about. I was most interested to reflect not only on the house that holds my heart but every abode that shaped and marked my life through the decades. When I started gathering my old addresses, memories long forgotten sprung up, vibrant and still so alive with feeling even after all these years. My life for the main part has fallen in pleasant places, so each dwelling is rooted in its own treasured and happy remembrances—all the way from my childhood and youth, through adulthood and middle age, and now into seniorhood.

Ever since I was a girl, I dreamt about the day I'd set up housekeeping in my own home. Each place I lived in, no matter how short the season it turned out to be, I set down some roots, made memories, made it home. However transient my stay, I always took the time to turn plain rooms and bare walls into cozy havens—whether it was my college dorm room, my summer house in Venezuela, my tiny first apartment. It was great fun! I loved housekeeping. Happily I'd set out my things: dishes and bowls, towels and bedding, books, pictures, plants, and knick-knacks. Making the space my own, where I could hang my coat, kick off my shoes, and plop into that comfy chair next to a stack of books after a busy day.

Every place had to have the potential to be cozy. Which, when I came to think of it, was elemental. Cozy was my favourite word, I think. For me, it represented comfort, warmth, and relaxation. Not to mention, safety and shelter from the elements and the outside world. I never saw until years later that I was trying to recreate that feeling of home I'd experienced in my childhood. For in that plain and unassuming farm house, my mom had made the house she had come to as a bride into a comfortable and welcoming place for her family and for all who passed through the doors as guests.

I think of one of my very first memories of that little house. I would have been about three or four or five. I came from my bedroom down the short hallway into the kitchen, bright with morning sunshine. And my young mom, standing at the counter or stove, turned to me with a smile, "Good morning, Merry Sunshine." To this day, I'm still filled with the warmth and light and love of that early childhood moment. For me, that's what home was for me. It was the way I wanted my own home to be.

I've come to see that what we know first in our lives often shapes future yearnings. My home had to have light, warmth and coziness - it was the key every time to creating something comfortable and welcoming. No matter how tiny, no matter how transient, I surrounded myself with the things I loved, the people I cared about, and created spaces that bade me and my guests welcome.

Over the next few weeks, in this Home Sweet House series, I hope to write about each of the dwellings I once called home. I look forward to revisiting them in my mind, ruminating how they shaped and sheltered my life.




Wishing you a beautiful weekend, and
Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians.
Brenda


Photo credit: Manfred Richter from Pixabay



42 comments:

  1. Oh Brenda, this is a lovely post, and a lovely introduction to what I hope will be a series. That creation of home, wherever one may find oneself, is something so dear to my own heart. A home that reflects love and light and beauty, and welcomes all to a place of refuge and peace. I look forward to future posts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Lorrie! Working on the next segment. So many memories flutter up once the floodgate opens.

      Delete
  2. And a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and R.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! It was lovely. And from your posts, I know yours was too.

      Delete
  3. I love this post and look forward to what is to come! I’ve always been a homemaker at heart too, from my girlhood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'A homemaker from girlhood'. Oh yes, Deanna, that was me too! I couldn't wait to grow up and be the heart of my own home.

      Delete
  4. This is such a lovely idea! I can’t wait to read about your homes past and present.

    -Merry K.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, dear Merry! I am working away at the next segment.

      Delete
  5. Home - what an evocative word! You've got me thinking and remembering:) I am, of course, familiar with all your homes, including the ones we've shared. I'm very much looking forward to the whole series!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I like this idea for a series thinking about homes where we put down roots. Good idea.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Syncronicity Brenda!☺️I was just going through boxes of photos of my children. Of course, I reminisced, nostalgically, of our time together in our old house. The house was an old colonial and had so much warmth.
    As far as “homes” I purchased an album about a year ago that I I wanted to “dedicate” to various photos from the home my children grew up in along with my childhood home , homes of my parents and ancestors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a lovely idea, dear friend. Have fun finding the right photos for your designated album!

      Delete
  8. I love the idea of this series! Home is such a part of who we are!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you're right, home is such a part of who we are! Thanks, Cheryl.

      Delete
  9. Oh, I AM looking forward to this series! Your description of your childhood home used few words but it captured me. I was right with you, coming down that hallway and hearing your mom say Good Morning, Merry Sunshine! Of course you'd want to recapture that in your own home. Light, warmth, and coziness. Your whole post felt that way. What a beautiful way to start my Thanksgiving Sunday. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your words are filled with light and love. Thank you, Joy! xo

      Delete
  10. I am going to enjoy this series!

    ReplyDelete
  11. lettersfromlin.blogspot.com comments I loved this thought. i'm rereading old journals for the past 60 years and reliving the various homes and places I've lived...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lin. Reading your old journals must be opening all kinds of windows for old memories to flutter forth like autumn leaves!

      Delete
  12. Such a wonderful idea! You have me thinking about the homes I have lived in, especially the wonderful little house where I grew up. I'm looking forward to your series.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Karen. Those first houses are special, especially when good things happened there.

      Delete
  13. Oh, please do make this a series. I loved your early memory and had to reread it a couple times.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This challenge appeals so much and, like you, I know I found home or created it every single place I have lived, even the concrete block house in the desert. A charming read, Brenda. I look forward to reading more.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a fun new series! I'm looking forward to revisiting your past dwellings with you.

    P.S. Having issues commenting again, so I'm back to using the Name/URL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Working away on the next segment - hope to have it ready by the weekend. Thanks, Margie!

      Delete
  16. P.P.S. And now I can comment again using my Google account. LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Already enjoying this series, Brenda, and looking forward to more. Homemaking is very dear to me as well and I put a lot of myself into creating a peaceful, comfortable space. I'm always reminding myself that my first and foremost home is my body and I must keep it as fit and healthy as possible and love it for all its imperfections (though it is easier to forgive the house for those).
    Amalia
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the way you say "I put a lot of myself into creating a peaceful, comfortable space." Yes, that is how it is for me to. And it's a joy to do - there's great fun in creating that homey space. Like you, I'm working on keeping my body in that place of fitness and health too. Thanks, Amalia!

      Delete
  18. I look so forward to reading about all your special, cozy homes, Brenda. You are a wonderful writer whose descriptions take readers by the hand and bring them into the scene of what you are describing. How awesome is that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a lovely comment, Susan. Thank you for sharing your thought - it hugs my heart. xo

      Delete
  19. Brenda cannot wait to read about each of your special homes. Your lovely memories are certain to warm my heart. Happy Thanksgiving to you. Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Debbie! Working on the next segment - this is turning out to be a fun writing project.

      Delete
  20. I loved this and you have me thinking deeply about my homes as well. What an in-depth series this could be for you and all the readers. I truly do love the idea of thinking more about home (and our past homes) and all that each of them meant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate your comment, Diane. I admit thinking when I first started this little project that it would be easier than it's turning out to be. However, I keep working away at it; I believe, as I think you do, it's a worthwhile endeavour. After all, home is where it all begins for each one of us.

      Delete
  21. How I love this, Brenda! It's my favorite subject, I think, and I can't wait to go now to your first of many posts on it. For ages I've filled an envelope with pictures of all my different kitchens and hope one winter day to sit down with them to write about what I learned in each one. And my favorite books just have to include the house as almost a primary character so you're speaking my language to propose a series like the one you are embarking on.

    And I do hope you submitted a comment to the magazine in answer to their question,
    Dewena

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hello, Brenda,
    What a lovely idea to write about your homes and what was special about each one. I agree with you that home is what you make of it, no matter where or how humble. I am looking forward to reading this series. You are a wonderful writer. x K

    ReplyDelete

To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xox

PS. I do not always comment here, but I do look forward to coming and visiting you....