What Does “Home” Mean to You?

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What does home mean to you?  Is the place that you live your home, or is your “real” home somewhere else?  For many people that may be the place where they grew up.  Other people find everything that the word home stands for in a place in nature – the woods, or the ocean.  For myself I feel that I’ve got two different homes.  The first is in nature – the ocean does it for me.  I could stay there forever, and at the risk of sounding insane, I hate to leave the ocean once I’ve actually gotten myself there.  I’ve always wanted to live as close as I can get to the ocean, but so far, I’ve got to make do with living about one and a half hours away.

My second “home” is my family (specifically, my daughter).  Whenever I’m with her I really do feel like I am home.  I’m sure that it’s the feeling of absolute love and trust that makes me feel this way.

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To talk about my “actual” home, it isn’t really set-up in a way that I would prefer, but it is still home, since this is where I’ve raised my children.  We had “beach” parties in the family room in the middle of winter.  I sat on the floor in the hallway outside my children’s rooms and read them The Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and a host of other books for years.  We home schooled in the dining room, ate dinner together as a family every night in the kitchen, and watched movies in the living room.  It may not be fancy, but it’s still home.

Share your thoughts about “home” in the comments below.

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Hermits and Stuff

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I recently read the non-fiction book The Stranger in the Woods – The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel.  This is the true story of Christopher Knight, the man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years.  I don’t know about you, but I often consider the option of running away from civilization and living by myself in the middle of nowhere.  Of course, I’d have to be self-sufficient, including growing my own food, etc., which would require tons of work, and that’s the main reason why I haven’t done anything like that…money being the other compelling reason.

But this account brought up a lot of issues for me.  Do I really consider someone who stole for survival a hermit?  What about his watching t.v. (yes, he stole a t.v., and watched it frequently), he also played hand-held computer games, and listened to a purloined radio.  While living alone and not speaking to anyone for 27 years (with one exception of saying hi to a hiker in the 1990’s) is an accomplishment, it’s not really what I think of when contemplating my own hermitage.  If I were going to become a hermit, I’m pretty sure that I would not want any interaction with civilization.  Actually, to be honest, this is something that I’ve thought about since I was a child and read a National Geographic story about a Park Ranger who lived in the middle of Yellowstone (I think) during the winter and was so isolated that his supplies were helicoptered in for him.  He spent the time that he wasn’t working reading and writing.  That was the life, I always felt – being paid to be alone, and to read and write!  A dream come true!

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At some point I understood that jobs like that just were not available, then I got married and had children.  Even though I am an introvert, I can tolerate being around others for a period of time.  As an aside, my children had the earliest bed-time ever, mainly because I’d had enough of “togetherness” by the end of the day and knew my limits.  I need time alone to “de-compress” after a day with others, although my patience for being with groups seems to be getting smaller and smaller as I age.  Do any of you daydream of the day when you just might turn into a full-time hermit?  How would you go about it?  Let me know in the comments below.

February Blues

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This is the time of year where it seems like it’s been winter for far too long.  Luckily, I’ve been able to get out and go for a walk almost every day despite it having been way too cold for a few weeks there.  On the days when the wind-chill factor actually got to 15 below zero, I have to admit that I stayed in the house.  However, those days weren’t too many, and I’ve been out and about for most of the winter.  That being said, I’m beginning think about Spring, and wonder if we will have a “real” Spring this year.

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I say that because for the past 5 or so years, we’ve gotten a few days of Spring, and then the temperature zooms up into the 80°’s with high humidity, and summer has made its early appearance months too early.  Right now, though, I’m simply waiting.  Waiting for the frigid weather to end, the mud to clear up, and the grass to be green again, instead of the brown it currently is.  I know I’ve got at least a month or so to go, but how about you?  Are you waiting for the winter to be done for good?

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No Electricity

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We had quite the rain and wind storm last night and have lost our electricity.  I’ve been lucky enough to nab an outlet at the library so thought that is would be my post for the day.  I really wish that I lived in a bigger town because then I’d have running water.  I miss that the most.   Well, guess I’ll just have to pass the time reading books!

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Camp NaNoWriMo

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This month, I’m going to be attempting the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo.  I’m trying, once again, to finish my short chapter book for a little boy I know.  It feels like I’ve been working on this forever (mostly because I have).  But, I really want to get this done and move onto other projects.

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Writing can often be the most difficult thing to do.  There are so many things that sound great in my head, but once I get them down on paper I find that they’re not that great at all.  Also, it’s so easy to be distracted.  Ever since I stopped going to the library to write, my progress has slowed down to – no progress.  I’d like to go back to the library; however, I don’t feel that I should leave my elderly dog on her own.  There would be no one here if she needs help, and of course I just can’t do that to her.  I just have to learn how to not get distracted by things.

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Is anyone else attempting Camp NaNoWriMo?  Let me know how it’s going for you.  Maybe we can  commiserate – or more hopefully, celebrate together.

Winter Wonderland

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For most of the winter we haven’t gotten much snow, as a matter of fact the winter has unsurprisingly been fairly warm.  However, just a few days ago, it was 60°, (and we were battling mud), then the next day we got 17 inches of snow.  One of the old quotes about New England is “If you don’t like the weather, just stick around for a few hours, it’ll change.”  This winter is stretching that truism quite far.  However, with all the snow, it’s turned into a winter wonderland, and I just wanted to share some of my pictures with you.  Enjoy!

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This is where you put the Frisbee to avoid it getting caught in the snow blower.

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Why Can’t I Hibernate?

I love fall. It’s unbelievably beautiful with the leaves changing colors, and the air so crisp. I also enjoy seeing the squirrels and chipmunks gathering in their nuts for their winter hibernation. The acorns and black walnuts have been falling at an almost alarming rate. My car has been dinged this year, and when I go for a walk, I can’t believe that I haven’t been dinged on the head. With the amount of nuts on the ground, the size of them, and how early they started to fall, I can only surmise that we’re going to have a doozy of a winter.

So, here is my question. Why can’t I hibernate, too? I want to. I want to just sleep, eat and drink tea and read books all winter. Because our library has closed for a month; only to re-open in a smaller space while renovations are occurring, I stocked up on a pile of books. I could just go and get a huge pile of books and happily hibernate for the winter. That sounds like heaven. I would be able to ignore all the bad news; all the negative people; and live in reader heaven. Yes, yes, bring on the hibernation!