I have always wanted to have a lovely home. When I was a little girl, we lived in a modest Cape Cod house on a street of large, beautiful homes, some bordering on mansions. Our street ran from the town square to the Horn Bridge, which was a short tunnel bridge under the railroad tracks. The bridge was narrow and on a sharp curve with a blind spot, so you had to honk your horn before going through to let the folks on the other side know you were coming. Hence the name.
But I digress! Around the age of eight or so, I became keenly aware of the difference between our little house and the big ones up the street. Walking home from school, I'd fantasize about the insides of those houses, even imagining how I would decorate the rooms. Okay, I was a little weird!
My grandparents had a lovely home, and it was only recently, when we were selling our house here in Santa Fe, that I realized how much the home that Grandma Goodwin created had influenced me. Lovely and gracious are the words that come to mind. All my life, I've been trying to create a lovely and gracious home like Grandma's.
My mom, God bless her, wasn't that great a housekeeper. I was the one who would go around picking up the house, placing candlesticks on the mantel, arranging flowers in a vase on the table. Always trying to make our humble house nicer.
Well, I have now had a number of lovely homes - four of them, in fact. I've had spacious rooms, filled with light and lovely furniture and art. I've created pretty gardens and had glorious views of the ocean or the mountains. I've worked hard to afford those homes, but I've also been lucky and blessed.
Now, we've sold our Santa Fe home and tomorrow, we fly to Elkhart, Indiana to go over the specs for our next home: an RV.
Okay, that's a big change for a girl who gets very attached to places and is pretty much a homebody. But I am oddly up for this adventure, because in some ways it feels like I'll be going home. We've lived in the southwest for more than 10 years now, and I am ready to head back east and spend more time near the ocean. To me, that's home. I also like the idea that we will be passing through all the places where we have family and friends. That's home too.
This process of letting go of our Santa Fe home - in both the literal and figurative senses - has been liberating. I've realized how much a house can own you, how limiting it can be to always be in one place, how much we sometimes give up for the sake of having one. Don't get me wrong, I still love the idea of having a house of my own, and there is great comfort in being attached to a particular place and the people there. I think what I am understanding now is the difference between having a house, where you live, and having a home, which is something you can take with you wherever you go. In an RV, I guess you kind of have both!