A Place We Want to Come Home To

Almost a month ago now, I had a date for my hairstylist to come over to dye my hair. I looked around a few days before and realize what a mess our place had become. Too much stuff, combined with the craziness of our summer and travels, had gotten things to a point where we were working super hard just to maintain or barely bring down the mess each day, forget cleaning it all up. We took a weekend and we went nuts... an early Mabon cleaning streak! For the first time in months a lifetime(!) our living room was clear, the floors cleaned of toys and other random articles, and everything felt just a little more in control. Now, it is easy to clean and maintain the clean on a daily basis. We still need to par down the amount of stuff in her room, but I'm much less concerned with that.

[Its worth noting: we were NOT living in squalor! We cleaned and vacuumed regularly, but that normally involved shifting huge piles of toys around, and was generally overwhelming. The controlled chaos was, well, not so controlled.]

Our place is now somewhere I'm happy to invite people into, somewhere that I feel good being in.

I always find myself soul searching and evaluating when the anniversary of our move comes at the end of summer. I think the root of it all - the cleaning and sorting, the replacing with fresher items - it all boils down to the desire to make this apartment a place we want to come home to. For years now I've wrestled with this idea of what home is supposed to be, what I WANT my home to be. What I've settled on is its more a feel then a look.

It feels like being wrapped in a warm throw on a pleasantly chilly morning. It feels like that jump in your heart seeing a perfect haul of dahlias. It feels like baking the perfect spice cake, and heating a mug of hot tea on the stove. It feels like wake up naturally, then being able to lounge in bed, warm and content, for those extra minutes.

For some, luxury is feeding the chickens in the morning or brewing a cup of tea or going to the local coffee shop for the perfect cortado. For others, it’s a Birkin Bag and a private yacht. For me, luxury is sleeping late, long slow mornings, having big blocks of time to concentrate on work, being able to travel & support the work of chefs around the world, being able to support and buy the goods of artisans that make clothing & home goods sustainably, and being able to cook most meals at home when I’m home. To each their own. You have to define that for yourself. The same goes for security. You have to define that for yourself. Whatever your definition is, I believe that you can realize your dreams, enjoy both luxury and security, and be rich in time to devote to what really matters to you. So yes, food is the heart of this blog. But the idea of abundance, of finding sustenance of every kind is the soul of this blog as it exists today.

Local Milk

For me, luxury and security are intertwined in the combination of the ability to travel far and wide, then having a place to come home to. A place that FEELS the way I want it to feel. Eclectic, but not overwhelming, lived-in and cozy. Full of light, life, color, and family personality.

I'm not sure that I'll ever be able to get it just right in an apartment. We live here year by year, never really willing to promise more then that, but yet knowing that there is not a reason we can think of to move out. The walls, so colorful in our Pennsylvania house, are so white here. But the idea of painting them, with the time and monetary cost involved, to have to just paint them back again (next year? the following?), is exhausting to consider. I try to reconcile my desire to have less stuff, while seeking out the one thing that will help make a certain space feel more complete comfortable us.

This post has taken a turn and I'm not sure how to wrap it up. Maybe I ask, how did you make your home into a place that you long to come home to? What does luxury and security mean to you?

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