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Being Home

March 8, 2020

A long time ago, when I was moving out from living with John and moving into my own place again, a friend gave me a book called Being Home. The book is a meditation on the deep comfort a person feels making, creating and sustaining a place that becomes one’s home.  The peace in cleaning and ordering one’s space. The peace in living in a space completely of your own making. There’s a poem called “Crossing the Threshold.” It is also a mediation on the tasks one takes on in a home.. the everyday chores, for example, “Taking Out the Trash,” and another, “Sorting Wash.”  One of the reviewers said it was the best book he knew on the sacrament of the present moment.

Paula gave the book to me about 30 years ago, and it’s been about that long since I’ve spent any time with her, but she’d probably be pleased to know I still value that book!

I developed a particular aesthetic growing up in the home my mom created.. she decorated sort of handsomely, I’d say. I think her style was a bit eclectic, but definitely  strong, crafty, woody and rich (not rich rich, but rich in earthy colors and textures). In my opinion. I think a lot about her when I look around my house now.. in part because I really liked her style and I think it comes out a lot in my own tastes. (Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, ya? Maybe the sincerest form of love.) I also think of my mom a lot in huge part because so much of the stuff in my house comes from her house (our family house, of course, growing up).  Of course this is Jim’s house, too! He just gives me carte blanch to fix it up however I like, so when I say “my house” I’m really just talking about my influence on its look.

Anyway.. I like our house. I walked around yesterday snapping some pics of my favorite corners and such. I missed a bunch, but here are some I took yesterday.

This one I just took a moment ago.. while sitting in my chair writing this. I love that front door.

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For years I’ve loved that tile behind the stove. Each piece had to be set. Good job, tile guy!

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Mom’s desk, mom’s chest, mom’s lamp, mom’s owls. Aunt Ellie’s chairs. Hi mom, hi Aunt Ellie!

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I’m ridiculously in love with this corner. We got that blanket in Scotland last spring.

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One of my favorite rooms in the house, Peter’s bathroom.

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It doesn’t look like this when he’s home.

Where Jim and I eat. That’s Mrs. Lambert’s painting, which I’ve always loved, and those are three of mom’s Mexican plates. This photo makes it look kind of spare. Looks fuller when there’s food on the table and we’re eating.

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I’d spend more time in the laundry room too, and imagine I will when projects start up. There’s a huge work table out of photo shot. I just like this tile.

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We also brought to Davis this chest that used to be in mom and dad’s bedroom. It’s stuffed with blankets.

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This is another good place to hang out.. nice when the sun’s streaming in.

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Finally, this is a painting by Jim’s mom, and that’s some of mom’s cooper on top of the hutch.

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