Saturday, June 29, 2013
Wherever you Hang your Hat
They say that home is where the heart is, but I think it is also wherever we make it. Having moved homes a few times in recent years, I have come to the conclusion that there are a few things that can make almost anywhere seem like home to me.
No matter where I have hung my hat over my life, no matter how temporary, there are some things I like to have. In the kitchen, aside from the basics, I have to have egg cups. Sometimes vacation rental homes are lacking in this regard. I have had to resort to using shot glasses or something with the right size opening to hold an egg. When I was packing up for this latest move, I decided to bring my own egg cups. I had a hunch they might be missing and I was right. It's not that I eat soft boiled eggs everyday, but once a week anyway and when I do, I like a proper egg cup. Silly, right? Eggsactly.
Larger items on the list include a comfy mattress and a good pillow. Following that, a comfortable chair inside and one outside as well. Sitting down with a cup of tea or glass of wine or a good read makes this one mandatory. When I was roving around the world in my early twenties, a good piece of foam on the floor would do me, but my aging body requires more now and I am happy to report that my summer retreat has filled all these requirements.
Less necessary, but a welcome sight in any accommodation are flowers. It can be as simple as a bunch of wildflowers or a collection of interesting branches or a pot of tulips. Flowers add an instant sense of "home" for me. I have added some flowers here this summer and I can see them out of the windows wherever I look.
However, none of these things outweighs a framed photo of my kid. She is near my bedside and in my wallet, her subliminal presence a constant source of comfort. We Skyped yesterday and I am so grateful for the technology that allows us to connect this way. No matter where we are in the world, we can still see each other.
Same goes for my friends. My best friend and I have been separated for years now by many miles and yet, we still manage to stay connected via texting, skyping, emails and phone calls. Years ago it was mostly phone calls, costly ones at that. Our latest way of connecting is with Viber. Free call and free texting. A free app that you download and you are ready to go. Talk about changing times. I would encourage all of you to check that one out - you have to both be on Viber to make it work - so if you have people you want to chat with regularly that live afar - this is a great way to go.
There was a time when I imagined my life differently. The idea of living in a house, preferably in the country, for my whole life. A big family that came and went. Holiday gatherings around a big table. Thinking back to those dreams now, I see that much of it was folly and as unrealistic as the fictional families I based them on. The Waltons. The Ingalls. Even if I did live in a country house from now until my end, it would not change the fact that I only have one child with the potential of one spouse and possible grandchildren. No need for a 12 foot harvest table to entertain the brood when they visit for the holidays. I have a secret wish for my daughter that she marry someone with a large extended family so she can experience that crazy big family thing.
Don't get me wrong here. I am grateful for the blessings in my life. Large families come with their own set of issues, probably more so. The romantic notion of happy family gatherings is about as realistic as the new bride's dream of happily ever after. As often as this dream comes true, just as often it dissolves into not so ever after.
So, on that note, this is Debbie Downer signing off for now and wishing all of you a happy long Canada Day weekend, with or without your families or friends.
Maybe home really is wherever you "hang your hat".