Month: January 2014

Home is where the heart is

A few days ago, I had a strange visitor. As I was cleaning up the Christmas decorations, I noticed an older man standing on the curb looking, no, staring, at my house.

I asked if I could help him. He told me he was reminiscing. That his grandmother used to live in my house and he spent a lot of time in it while he was growing up. He told me a little about the house in his day, about 50 years ago, and after a while, I invited him into the hallway to see what it was like today.

Crossing the threshold, tears welled up in his eyes and rolled down his face. He was suddenly taken back in time and for a few moments, the house no longer belonged to me but to his tiny Scottish grandmother, the lady that lived here and cooked up huge family meals in the main room for so many years. The house’s original features came to life as he told stories of the family that lived here, the renovated parts, such as the kitchen, melted away. As if I didn’t love my house before, I loved it even more after he left leaving his best wishes that we accumulate as many happy memories in this house as his family did.

We have lived here for almost 3 years and it’s only recently that it’s truly felt like home. It was a difficult transition coming here. We moved only a few months after living overseas and I had been craving my own home back for much of the time we were away. Suddenly after being back in the house I longed for, we sold it and moved here. Then 5 days later, my youngest daughter was born arriving almost a month earlier than we had been expecting her. The emotional upheaval of being away, moving to a new and unfamiliar neighbourhood, giving birth and then dealing with a baby who would rather scream than sleep at night sent me into a form of postpartum depression. It was an extremely tough time, a period of our lives that would continue for the next year and a half.

But after time, the baby settled down, I recovered and we finally were able to look at our surroundings. We couldn’t have moved anywhere better. The neighbourhood and community around us is a part of what makes this home so special, we have something unique in the city and we are so fortunate. But the house itself has a warm, inviting feel and I know now that is thanks to it’s history and the happy memories contained in it’s walls.

For a while, when asked where I lived and I answered, I was very often told “oh, you live in so-and-so’s house” To the extent, I would use this as a description of where I lived. Eventually, I realized, that this was wrong. It wasn’t their house anymore, it was mine. It’s taken time but the effort (from everybody) to make it our home was worth every step.

“There’s no place like home”.

 

A Warm Smile

My objective was met. I dedicated myself to this blog during 2013. Once finished, I looked forward to reading a novel. In one go. I chose the Midwife of Venice. It wasn’t very good. It just goes to show how hyped up some things can be.

Anyway, it’s nice to be back and I appreciate your comments. Thank you.

So, like 187 million others apparently, I’m cold. Too cold to go outside so there’s a been a lot of basement yoga. It’s kinda nice to hibernate a bit after the busyness of the holidays.

I’m sure there were many houses that looked like mine. Chaotic for 2 full weeks. Thankfully it’s more organized now and the decorations are packed away, the boxes cluttering the garage for another 50 weeks.

Yoga makes me relax. Although I find outdoor exercise relaxing, I don’t physically relax  my muscles. But in yoga you do. You notice facial tension more, points on your body that feel tight and uncomfortable.

You don’t need yoga to relax these muscles, just occasional mindfulness throughout the day. Right now, rest the tip of your tongue behind your top teeth and consciously relax your forehead. Feel different? Sometimes, this is all you need to encourage a smile on your face. Set a timer throughout the day and just practice this simple exercise. If nothing else, it will tell you how you are feeling at that moment.