Sunday, August 15, 2010

There's No Place Like Home - Now If I Could Just Stay There

We came home late Friday night from two weeks at the cottage. Great weather, no appointments and quiet time that allows me to read are luxuries I'm not always privvy to and I did enjoy my time there - although there were quite a few things needing to be done so cleaning out a basement, installing a water heater (well, hubby did that but I helped haul and lift the thing), painting a shed, installing a screen door (again, mostly hubby, poor thing) weeding the beach and trimming and stacking lots of brush did take up a bit of time. Still, it was away from the hectic pace of my life in the city and the kids do love not having to get up and rush and come home and rush and just, well, RUSH. But even with the nice feeling a break from the day to day craziness of my normal life it felt wonderful to be home. I don't usually experience that post vacation let down some people have. Usually, by the end of two weeks, I'm itching to get back home. I guess, I am at heart, a homebody. Probably why one of the main themes in my writing has to do with that elusive feeling of what home means to you.

For me, home is very much about establishing a physical home base. Somewhere where I can plant roots and make a safe haven for my family. I love the feeling of driving up my street after a time away, seeing my house and walking in my door, dropping the luggage and just sitting on my favourite leather chair in the living room and letting the feel of my house seep into me. I love my own bed and my own comforter and knowing I have everything I need right here without having to worry about whether I remembered if I brought the toothpaste or bandages. I'm in awe of people who can live like nomads and just roam the world, going where the wind takes them. I don't think I could do that. I read Elizabeth Gilbert's sequel to EAT, PRAY, LOVE titled COMMITTED and she wrote about how her partner was happiest when he had a home base, where he could have his coffee maker and a kitchen where he could cook his own food. She didn't mind going from hotel to hotel for six months while the U.S. Immigration service decided whether he'd be allowed into the country to marry her. He, on the other hand, was miserable. I totally identified. I need to know that after a certain time I have a place to come home to. To me, it's almost as good as being on vacation itself.

Unfortunately, this year, as soon as I've come home, I need to leave again. I have to go take care of my mom for a couple of days after her second surgery. Then I'll be going to Stratford next weekend with my girlfriend to see Evita and spend a couple of days catching up with one of my dearest friends which will be a total destressor if it wasn't for the driving to get there (which Jan is doing, bless her). And then when I get back I'll be busy packing up to move the contents of my home to another, temporary home (which isn't really my home)so that we can renovate my beloved house. This is causing me no end of stress. I know I'll settle in to the other house and my normal routine but I will miss living here - even if the house is old and the kitchen is a 1947 reject and the roof is ready to blow off. I still love my street and my neighbours and my old house. Sigh. There really is no place like home.

What about you? Are you homebodies or travellers?


  1. I used to be a traveler. It used to be, I couldn't wait to get out and go on another adventure. These days though, it's different. I like being home. I enjoy just hanging out with my family. Maybe I'm satisfied with the adventures in books?

  2. Hi Lisa! Maybe you're right - it's so much more fun to experience the adventures that writers create on the page. I'd never willingly walk into a vampire's den but boy, I do love to live vicariously and read about it.

  3. When I'm traveling I can't wait to get home. When I'm home, I pretty much love it but imagine being other places.

    I hope your life becomes less stressful. That's a lot of stuff to deal with.

  4. I used to be a dedicated traveler, but I've morphed into a total homebody. Maybe I got the wanderlust out of my system early on, or maybe it's just that traveling has become so much more of a pain these days, what with security this and security that. Not that I don't enjoy a good jaunt now and then, but I'm happiest in front of my own hearth.

  5. Hi Medeia: I totally understand that back and forth feeling - especially when I see pictures of beautiful tropical islands. But home will always be home. Thanks for the de-stressing wishes. I hope next month will be better!

    Hi Linda: I loved to travel in my 20's but now the idea of a six to eight hour plane ride exhausts me before I even get to the airport. Here's to being homebodies!

    Hi Laura: Whoo-hoo! Homebodies are winning!