I finished reading this book this morning. I’ll save the review for my Instagram feed and for the February/March edition of Shelf Unbound magazine. Instead, I’ll focus on one piece of the book because it’s fitting for our times: Home.
These days (and most of this year) people have been at home. Working from home, schooling from home, laid off at home, and hunkering down at home. It’s been…interesting.
I am a devout homebody. Not that I don’t enjoy getting out occasionally or traipsing off to some lovely beach vacation whenever time & life & pandemics allow, because I do. But, when I am away, I often think about my home.
Interestingly enough, I don’t particularly care for working from home. Not sure what that’s about…
My family moved all the time when I was a kid. All. The. Time. Every summer, we packed up whatever we had in whatever house we lived in, stuffed it all into whatever vehicle we drove at the time, and moved. In the new abode we’d unpack all of our things, assigning objects that belonged to people to rooms and shelves and closets. Only to repeat those actions again within a year’s time.
In fact, we moved so often (every summer for years), that I remember a conversation in some laundromat in which my siblings and I admitted to believing all people moved every year. We thought it was the norm…that we were normal, somehow. For many years afterward, I’d get the urge to pack up everything and move someplace new. I’d have to remind myself that it was okay to stay living in the same house throughout the summer months.
Yet strangely enough, my husband and I have moved something like 18 times in our 20 year marriage. The longest we’ve ever lived in one place is in our current home. We’ve been here nine years. In the process of staying we’ve turned this house into a home…our home.
Where we live, people often spend years referring to a house by the previous owner’s name. For example, you might be the Wallace family, but you purchased the Smith home when they relocated back to the lower-48. So, when people ask you where you live and you tell them, if said people knew/know the Smith’s, they’d say “Oh, you live in the Smith house.”
If you’re anything like me, you were annoyed when you read that imaginary statement. I have two pet peeves about a house. 1. Don’t call a woman a housewife. She’s not married to her house. 2. It’s MY house, not that of the previous owners. –End of my #soapboxrant
Anyway, we’ve spent the last nine years giving our home a makeover. New paint, floors, and a few new doors. A custom kitchen island that took me a few years to design. Oddly enough, our young grandsons like to climb inside the cubby hole in it and laugh hysterically at their secret hiding place that’s right out in the open. We’ve remodeled most of both bathrooms too.
Houses are like that. Expensive behemoths or trendy tinies that you put you dress up with your style. Farmhouse chic. Modern. Open-concept. All those interesting house genres that people like the Property Brothers have gotten rich using.
As I read Unseen City I pondered the idea of home.
How would you describe your home? Or, your dream home if you’re searching for that forever space? Here’s a quiz to find out. I was only mildly surprised by my results.