I can’t tell you the precise definition or location of “home”, but I can tell you this: home is whatever you make it.
In my case, it’s been a progressive making and remaking since the day Martin (my German-born husband) and I met. We’ve been called nomads when we moved to Berlin, Germany, gypsies when we came back to the US, migrators when we moved into a tire house, adventurers somewhere in-between, and more often than not, “that interesting couple”.
It’s a lot of packing and unpacking. But here’s something I’ve learned:
The beautiful thing about home is that it really has very little to do with the building. It’s all about the people.
A home is just the setting for all the stories of our lives.
Today as you read this, Martin and I are holding hammers and nail guns. We’re building a little home that we’ve been dreaming about for almost a year. (I mentioned the launch of our project briefly in this post, DIY: Finishing What We Start.)
Our home is anything but normal; it’s 720 square feet in the back of an airplane hangar. It’s a place for fixing and storing small airplanes. One day, it’ll have a big office for my online journal shop, Gadanke. It’s exciting, but it’s not normal.Photo by Katie Clemons
Chances are, there’s something about your house that might not be so “normal” or “perfect”, too, right? That’s okay. In fact, that’s part of what makes life so beautiful. Do you remember the squished apartment with the awful oven that you and your husband first lived in? Remember baking a birthday cake in there? Do you remember the year the Christmas tree tipped over? How about something crazy like when a bird flew in the chimney or your son brought home a new pet without asking?
If we always focus on what the Jones Family does at their house, how can we pause and celebrate our homes? Our worlds? Our dreams?
When our homes don’t feel normal, when our families and lifestyles don’t feel normal, it isn’t something to be embarrassed about. You shouldn’t feel ashamed and never let anyone in. If we celebrate our stories and celebrate our houses (no matter what they look like), then they become home. There is nothing more beautiful for us as women and mothers than having a place where we can be ourselves and celebrate our family’s stories.
You don’t need a perfect home to have a good life.
You just need good people that you love and a passion to live. Celebrate that!
At the end of the day, follow your own dreams, not the dreams of other people. We don’t want the picket fence in the suburbs. But that doesn’t mean one lifestyle is better than the other. It’s just what’s better for us right now. What’s best for you?
In the past month or so, a couple bloggers have really embraced home in some beautiful ways:
- Jane at The Borrowed Abode rents and dreams of working from home. She just build furniture when she couldn’t find something at thrift shops.
- Juliette is an American blogging at Zu Hause. She lives in Germany with her pastor husband and misses American craft stores. She humbles me with how she still finds beautiful ways to celebrate the seasons at home.
- Kim & Scott at Yellow Brick Home celebrate handmade birthday parties at home.
- Jules at Zurika is another American expat in Germany. She embraces her German community and northern Europe weather like no one I’ve ever seen.
You embrace your home with the paint and rugs that you pick. It’s the used couch you got from a coworker. It’s the way your kids play and spread their toys. It’s what you cook dinner. It’s your home. Celebrate it your way.
And if you want to hop in a plane after dinner, come on over!
How is your home different from our definition of “normal”? How are you celebrating that?