Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Place Called Home

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!


  1. This is a very nice post and it makes a lot of sense. After our month long trip to La Paz Mexico this past winter I realized I was missing the ocean. To be able to "unhook" our RV home from it's few connections and head out to different settings by the ocean will be a wonderful feeling of freedom - if we don't like where we ended up - well, "unhook" our RV home and head off again. North-South-East or West - follow the sun and look for the ocean. :>)

  2. Whoops - the above comment was made by Melissa's husband - but I'm on her computer so it thinks it is her! It will think it's her again when I post this but you & I know it's me. :>)

  3. You'll embrace your next adventure and enjoy it every bit as much as having a home that stays in one place.

  4. I live in a small cape cod home and every now and then I say oh I wish we lived in a bigger home! But then I think of how much work and love we put into it and I feel blessed. We will eventually leave .( rv sounds awesome) and I know that day will be hard, but as long as my kids and husband are ok ....I'm home. Good luck in your new adventure...will you post pics of the Rv?
    Blessings, Joanne

  5. Thanks Carol and Joanne, YES! I will post pictures. We go today to see how they are made and pick out the model we want and the specs. They will build it for us to be ready in the spring. But we'll take pics today too. And I think that when we hit the road, my blog will evolve to be about our travels and the people we meet along the way.

  6. How liberating and scary at the same time! Best of luck - take lots of pictures for us.

    BTW - I'll get back to you soon about your interview etc.

  7. HaHa, Melissa's husband! I did a double take for a minute.

    Melissa, I think this is going to be a wonderful adventure for you and I'm a firm believer that a home is where you make it. I never thought I would go back to living in an apartment after owning a house, but it's still our home, even if we don't own it, because we make it a home. Am I making sense? The only thing I regret is not having a yard for the boys anymore.

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to hearing about your adventures when you're officially living on the road. =O)

  8. Sylvia and Michelle, Hi! Thanks for the comments. We are in Indiana - spent all day yesterday touring the manufacturer's plant and then picking out our RV specs. It's done! We put down our downpayment and they will start building it in January - ready to roll in March! I am really very excited now. I will post more when we get home. xo

  9. :-) ! lol...I was so confused for a bit! Well, to Melissa and her husband, best wishes as you set off on your big adventure! Sounds like it should inspire a book or two :-)

  10. Yes - just to confuse it more -with that last message, I was logged in as Dick, so it came up under HIS name! Geesh! We need to stay off of each other's computers...


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