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Home.

I dreamed about my grandmother last night. This is not an unusual event in my life as I often have vivid dreams and I occasionally dream about those that have passed on. The details of the dream are unimportant but the lingering feeling I had this morning after the encounter I had with my grandmother was reassuring and comforting.

Ever since we were children, my sister and I have commented that as far as grandmothers go we were pretty lucky grandchildren. While quite different in personality, our grandmothers both had a very common trait: they turned their house into a home. I’m sure most would say that of their grandmother; the feeling is not an uncommon one. I like to think that their influences contributed to who I am today.

Whenever you went to Grandma Country’s house you would smell something baking or cooking. Whether it was chocolate chip cookies, homemade bread or any given flavour of pie, Grandma Country could usually be found busy in the kitchen, and if she wasn’t there or elsewhere in the house doing some chore, she was in her chair next to the window reading a book, most likely waiting for the chime of the oven to signal when something had finished baking. My sister and I were lucky in that we grew up next door to my country grandparents and when we were younger we’d go over for milk and cookies and watch “Bewitched” and “I Dream of Jeannie.” There were rarely hugs or kisses from Grandma Country, it wasn’t really in her nature, but we felt loved and comforted and very welcomed into her home. It wasn’t a house she kept, it was a home.

Grandma City lived further away so we didn’t see her as much, but when we stopped by she’d always give us a big hug and a kiss and want to know what we were up to. Grandma City was the giver, she’d give anything and everything she had to help a person that needed help; her house was always open to friends and family. Grandma City didn’t bake that much, she was more in line with the arts and crafts and plants and she did all the really well. While Grandma City’s house was in a suburb and didn’t smell like baked goods, you knew you were always welcome there. Grandma made her house into a home. And it was comfortable.

Of all the things that are important to me, one particular one is making sure our house feels like a home. Earl and I are blessed, we have a newish house that is quite nice and I love every inch of it (even when the plumbing is acting feisty). Our old house, which was a 150+ year farm house, had the “warm” feeling built into it because it had housed so many people for a century and a half; this house has always been beautiful to me, but it’s only been the past two years or so that it has truly felt like a home and it’s only been the past six months or so that I have been able to say that I could live in this house forever. I always strive to make guests feel welcome here and I often entertain thoughts of having dinner parties or movie nights or all of that stuff. Unfortunately, where we live makes us out of the way for most of our friends and family and on the run the rest of the time, but I hope that loved ones feel welcome to visit us.

One of the reasons that I am anxious to meet Homer in Tucson someday is because his blog depicts a friendly place where friends meet and eat delicious baked goods. Like many of the bloggers that I read daily, I like what Homer seems to be. It’s one of the reasons that I enjoyed visiting with Sean and Jeffrey in Albany and visiting them from time to time, the apartment they had at the time felt very comfortable. The conversation was good, the energy was great. If we have a home that others feel they can’t visit then I guess I’m feeling like I have failed along the way. This is important to me. I suppose it’s because of the impending change of season where I get into harvesting/baking/get ready for winter mode.

Earl and I recently welcomed Jamie into our home. Jamie is attending school locally and is going to be a brilliant photographer someday. I admire him for the strength of his convictions and I it is my hope that Earl and I contribute to the foundation he needs to embark on this whole life thing. We share a lot of common interests and as I may have mentioned before, he reminds me of myself at that age. I hope that when Jamie is here he feels like he’s home.

I know Grandma would like that.

3 Comments

  1. I think that you and I both understand the difference between a house and a home. Not necessarily externally, but internally….in our hearts, below the head level. You’ve described it perfectly. I’m reminded easily of my own grandmothers and friends who have welcomed us not only into their lives but, especially, into their HOMES….not the building….the place of being.

  2. Wow, JP. I can’t think of a higher compliment. Thanks. (You know you guys are welcome any time in any home we have.) I think we are very sympatico on this, and I know you are more than a man of mere words…your sentiments always ring true. It’s what I find so endearing and loveable about you.

    I’m going to spend the rest of the day glowing now.

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