October 20, 2010


"There's no place like home."  "Home is where the heart is."  "Home Sweet Home". I've been thinking a lot lately about "home" - I always do around this time of year.  It seems like when the weather turns colder, it's the only place I want to be.

I'm sure the concept of home means something different to everyone - maybe you take off your shoes and put on slippers the minute you get home from work.  Maybe you flip on the TV.  Maybe you can't wait to sit down to dinner with your family.  Maybe you work third shift and the sun's just coming up when you get home, so you check Facebook to see what happened with all your friends that evening.

Whatever your routine, it's good to be home, isn't it?

I don't know about you, but I've gotten emotionally attached to nearly every house I've lived in - I can't help but think about everything that happened while I was there.  Good things, bad things, celebrations, funerals - it's all tied to where I lived at the time.

How many of you had only one childhood home?  And of you that did, how many still have parents living there?  I lived in the same apartment from nearly birth until I was nearly 20, when my parents moved to Madison so my mom could get her Ph.D.  And even though we had insane neighbors and the place had seen better days, it was heartbreaking to leave (I didn't know it at the time, but I would move seven times in the nine years after that).  It was the only place I had ever known, and the "unknown" was the scary part.

My current home is the fifth place I've lived since I've been in Fond du Lac.  I told Brian that if we never move again, it'll be too soon.  We'll never outgrow it; it's just the two of us and, barring some wacky life-altering event, it always will be just us.  I have my art studio in my house; Brian's got a nice photography set-up too.  We have a living room and a big family room, two bathrooms, two bedrooms and an office, and of course a nice-sized kitchen and dinette.  There is no need for anything more.  In my 42 years I've lived in 13 different places, and 10 of those have been in the last 22 years.  I'm done moving!  I love the security of staying put.

I recently made the collage (above) for the contest winner on Retro Renovation.  Every month one winner is picked from the entrants and the prize is a collage that I've rendered of their house.  I absolutely LOVE making these collages - one's house is such a personal thing and I love the challenge of creating something that will reflect how much these people really love where they are (the slogan of Retro Renovation is "Love the House You're In!").  This month's winner, however, really brought home to me how much we cherish our homes. 

Ann, the winner, lives in North Carolina.  They had just been through a tropical storm shortly before the contest was announced.  Many of Ann's neighbors suffered some pretty devastating damage; thankfully, the damage done to this house was minimal.  It was truly poignant to make this collage knowing it was such a close call!

So the next time the water heater goes out, or the roof shingles need replacing, or you just ran into the side of your garage (yep, that's me) - remember to take a moment and be thankful that you still have a home you can come home to.

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