Where Do You Live?

April 29, 2008 by Ellen Stimson in Family

I got to be home for three days in a row. When I am traveling I think a lot about being home. I imagine that when I am there everything I do will feel homey and good. But the home feeling is a fleeting kind of thing. You want to grab hold of it, and you might think about it when you are away. But when you get there the stacks of bills are piled up, the phone cord is broken and needs replacing, ( or you have to hold it just right during all your calls), and the rotted porch steps that the guy who owes you some money is bartering off are still in a tangled pile. Instead of feeling comfy and close you wind up feeling irritated and antsy.

This weekend started off with all of those rough patches. But then, the sun was shining when rain was predicted. Our daughter called from college, and she’d had a lousy day. Finals were looming and she was feeling worried and stressed. She probably needed to come home for a day or two of attention, but didn’t think she should. John overheard me talking to her, and called out that he’d meet her halfway and Bam!, the home feeling was right back in the room with all of us. Her little brother said he’d come too, and she told us she was heading out to her car right then that minute. Eli grabbed her dog and they all met an hour and fifteen minutes later in Brattleboro. I whipped up a big batch of cookie dough. I made a few cookies, but I left most of the dough in the bowl for her. Then her big brother ran to the grocery store and pretty soon the kitchen smelled like the BBQ slow roasting in the oven, fancy deviled eggs, and butter and sugar. It all smelled like home.

We sat out on the porch and ignored the pile of wood while we soaked up the last of the sun. There were storm clouds rolling in, and so we carried up a bunch of wood for a spring fire. We decided to run out and rent some movies. Everybody agreed that what we needed was a good thriller. We turned out all the lights, built the fire, carried in fluffy comforters, and scared ourselves silly in front of an old reliable movie. We had fresh milk from the cows up the road and a plate full of warm cookies for company. The feeling of home was in us and all around us. We were all filled with a sweetness for this time and this place with these people.

I went to sleep imagining August when we will all pick blackberries from the bushes down by the meadow, and the fat juicy pies I will make for us as we sit on the newly restored porch. Surely by August……I remembered other springs with high school girl’s softball and baby chicks. And I thought about this one. There’s a kid coming really close to graduating from college and another one who is about to finish her first and probably toughest year. The little one is not so little but still loves to go to the river when it is wild with snow melt and the thrill of the new season. I can sit in the sun with my book while he runs with the dogs, and he can make his way to his friend Timmy’s house through a deep wood all by himself. John and I are planning a garden. We might add more baby chicks, and with everybody laying there will be lots more deviled eggs and frittatas for breakfast. Everyone will be home this summer. And like the other night, on some of those days we will all feel it at the same time.

Where do you live, where is your home? These are profound questions. Home is that place that gives you a feeling of warmth and memory. It conjures bare feet on summer grass, porch music, fireflies, soccer practice, snow angels, roaring fires and hot cocoa. My home is with these four other people. I choose them and they choose me right back. Now that is a whole bunch of lucky…..


  • danny

    where do you live is indeed a profound quesion. it bears thinking over
    thanks, glad i stopped by

  • Molls

    And we are lucky to get these sweet glimpses into your country life.You remind me of coffee at the bakery with my Aunt Louise.

  • Law Student Hot Mama

    Aww, what a sweet post.

    Home for me is where the family is! Heh – though I gather we’re a lot less Norman Rockwell than your town!

  • Bia

    A whole bunch of lucky . . . that’s what you are blessed with.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

    God bless.

  • jamie

    This reminds me of summer at my grandparents! Barefoot and sweaty, and always covered in dirt and popsicles! Time goes too fast–I don’t run barefoot much anymore!

  • nellie

    You are a lucky lucky girl. I want some of the pie. I read these and even though i live in the city they make me long for another kind of life.I don’t quite know how I can turn the one I have into one more like this, but these posts have me thinking and wondering. I love your stories

  • beesknees

    i raise bees. but i live in the suburbs where i long for a meadow and now because of you, maybe chickens. i’d like the good husband and kids too, especailly the kids

  • Anonymous

    I heard your chicken tales on NPR. I don’t usually write to people like this, but I love your stories too. I live in Texas on a hilly ridge. Your stories make me see things here in a new light. I moved here because of my husband. We are having our first baby and his dad hired him at their family’s business. I miss the city most days. But I know this will be good for my child. Your stories have me thinking prettier thoughts about all of it. I have been checking to look for new ones every day first thing and I wanted to thank you

  • Peace is every step

    Such a sweet post. I hope my home is filled with such comfortable, easy togetherness as yours is when my little ones aren’t so little.

  • Eville Reader

    wonderful wonderful post made me think of the old hometown of E’ville…but what is a “snow angle?”

  • ILX

    ILX said: I was watching Gene Simmons Family Jewels last week and they had a episode produced by Shannon Tweed, Gene’s partner of 22 years and mother of their 2 children. In this episode Ms. Tweed had taken all the family movies and spliced them together into one long story which reminded me so much of two other children I know and their Mom. What struck me was the incredible similarity between the mothering styles of this blog writer and Ms. Tweed who has raised 2 wonderfully sweet kids just like the present blogger. It was as if I was watching a re-run of….and all the attributes of home and hearth that the blogger mentions were just so evident in the family movies. Now one would not expect this from a notorious rock star’s wife but that assumption would be dead wrong…

  • Angela

    I love this post…home for me doesn’t really matter on location like you…it’s all of us being together, around the table, having a big meal. Or snuggled up on the couch together watching a movie…or on the boat at the lake…

  • Family Adventure

    Oh, E, what a gorgeous picture you paint. I am so glad you made the decision to come home easier for your daughter – what a lovely way to spend an afternoon/evening.

    My heart is torn right now, as to where my home is. But I know it will heal. And you are right – the most important people are right here with me.

    Hugs – Heidi

  • library lady

    Right now the best warm and fuzzy moment I had at home was curling up in my recliner watching an episode of West Wing on my DVD player with two of my three cats last week. The warm fuzzy moment came when Spooky and Killer didn’t fight each other…a rare event, indeed.

  • katrina

    beautiful words as always..where do we live after all

  • TheCynicalOptimist

    This is a perfect post and just screams home! My home is with my mother, brother and family as well! We usually grill out and laugh a lot. 🙂 And nowadays we chase our toddlers around and remember days gone by when we were kids!

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