Thursday, February 7, 2019

Some Thoughts About Home

front porch chalk message
Today's Spiritual Journey Thursday is on the topic of "home is where the heart is." Please visit Donna at Mainely Write for Roundup!

Nothing makes me appreciate home as much as taking a vacation. :) Of course home is mostly being with the people you love, not a place.

But it IS a place too.

When Paul and I started out, we lived in a house he bought before we met, in a Jefferson County neighborhood that was a little too close to the place where I went to high school.

Before we were even married, we bought 40 acres on Beaver Creek Mountain in St. Clair County and soon built a house in the center of it. Talk about secluded! And we had these marvelous mountain views... we lived there for 5 years before deciding to move for better schools and to be closer to Paul's work. It was such a tough thing to leave that place! The things we do for our kids...

our 20 year house
For 20 years we lived in the suburbs of north Shelby County, and yes, I was happy. Yes, we had so many good times! And it was a great house, for what (and where) it was. I mean, we raised a family there. And I wrote quite a few books there!

But no place has felt like home to me the way our current home does, here in rural Blount County.

"Love Shack" art,
complete with 2 blue birds (!),
a found treasure from Key West.
I love how it's a little wonky -
just like us!
At first, when we weren't living here full-time, we called it "the lake house." Then it became the "Love Nest." Which, yes, is cliche, but it fit! Sometimes we called it the "Love Shack," too, but that just sounds so, well... you know.

Since we've moved in, we've wanted to give the place a more formal name. I guess we have, sort-of. We (well mostly I) call it the Happy Rabbit Hideaway. (The house came with quite a few real and not-real rabbits.)

To carry on the naming thing, my studio is The Purple Horse Poetry Studio and Music Room. (The name traveled with us from the last house... turns out creative studios move right along with their creators.)

the Easter Porch 
Also, we have a slab of rock at the top of the bluff overlooking the lake that we call not so originally "The Overlook." And we have a deck/porch mid-way down the bluff we've just christened the "Easter Porch" -- because the first meal we shared with family there was on Easter of last year.

So anyway, maybe a home is not just the people you love, maybe it's a place you can name?

Thank you for reading! Looking forward to reading everyone else's thoughts about home!


  1. Love this, Irene. I'm going to be thinking of cool names for various parts of our current home now. :>)

  2. While I think of my house as my home, I do like your naming of different parts. It gives a homey feel as it brings memories back to you. It is so interesting how each one of us has a different take on the topic home is where the heart is. By the way, I love your wonky Love Shack art and that you related to your family experience/relationship. Your new home must be such an amazing place to live, Irene.

  3. Irene: I agree that home is, or can be, a place. I wish I could have posted a picture of my childhood home, but that was not in my skill set today. But what a home it was! Someday I'll write more about it. Enjoy your home, I can tell that you have put a lot of heart into it.

  4. Oh Irene this is so fun! I love the way you take things to you by naming them. And the photo of your lakefront patio is too lovely! I can see why you've fallen for this place. Happy writing in the Purple Horse Poetry Studio.

  5. Lots of travel collected in a few words, here, Irene. Wonderful names & photos. My Nest is Best is a p.b. I read years ago (P.D. Eastman, the author? & I think that sums up what you are saying. It is always good to be Home. Our current place (for 15= years now) is Yellow Cottage on the Hill & there are places I'm willing to travel to because of their uniqueness but I don't yearn to be away from it. With an office named, Writing Room, with the Annino Pond out back (swim pool) & the Tea Porch in front, the Sunshine Room (living room) & Little Kitchen, we are cosy & feel very free. I love your post on Home.

  6. A place you can name. That is great. I'll have to think about it some more, and how it fits when you're living in a country where you're not a citizen. How much can you name it yourself and how much do you accept the name that's already there?

  7. I came to your blog to read your PF post and have read all the way back to Spiritual Thursday which I missed earlier. "A place you can name" is so perfect for what a home is. I loved catching up on your memoir as well. We have a lot in common. Maybe we should be friends?


Your thoughts?