Monday, April 1, 2013

Good Things About Leaving Home

We just got home from a week long camping trip and, I must say, it's very nice to be home.

It lasted all of 15 minutes, but still...

Those of us who define ourselves within our home and family circle don't often realize that it is valuable to leave home...sometimes.

But only clean it before you leave. ;-)

I admit to having a certain obsessive disorder.  My home must be picked-up, cleaned, empty sink, mail sorted, no-ends-left-undone before I leave my house on a long trip. Often, even on a short trip. Sometimes, even when I'm just leaving for regular errands outside the home.

It's a quirky compulsion but today as I crossed my threshold I realized the benefit of that slight disorder. My behavior disorder, in fact, blesses me with order when I arrive home.
It's so nice to come home and the table is cleared and the sink is empty and it smells fresh or, in a case like my old house, there is a haunting reminder found in the scents of auld lang syne and souls who once passed that way.

For a very short moment in the life of this house and our years spent here, as I put my purse down and inspect each room, I notice how truly spacious this house is. No bodies in a house can make it seem ten times its normal size. I notice all those small things my husband has done to improve it and renew it. I notice how inviting the sitting room window seat is.

The toy corner near the piano bench looks fun instead of messy. My sofa and chairs look comfier. Even the papers in my workspace seem to have settled down instead of shouting at me for attention whenever I enter.

Simply Nice!

And then my daughter stumbles in behind me with DS case in hand and new books are tossed onto that lifeless table, security pillow, favorite blanket, and flip-flops are tossed into the laundry room doorway.

The camper pantry is exhumed and its remains are strewn across my once-bare table top. I begin a load of laundry, unpack the groceries, and sort the tarried Easter baskets.

Slowly the quiet sanctity of my home looses its freshness.

Life begins to traffic through, empty surfaces are scattered, and, for the first time in months, I notice the old nail holes in the wall next to the kitchen larder and the buried staples in the larder door where Meme once hung countless pictures presented to her by the grandchildren.
I notice cat hair on the piano bench and dust bunnies galore around the collection of antique dolls in the hallway. I realize dust has visited this house---and evidently had a huge party---during my absence.

The freshness has faded.

Still I'm glad the week-long departure gave me something I was at risk of shutting the door on. Fifteen minutes of seeing the interior of my house as a new guest would see it, with fresh, welcoming eyes.

And appreciating it anew.

We are home.

It's humble, but it's home.

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