Our Advent readings last year have had me reflecting on the concept of home and how deeply we, as humans, yearn for such a place. Or should I say state of comfort.

It also has me admitting how elusive it’s been for me. Our childhood home was never truly comfortable, physically or emotionally. And in the moves afterward, I often felt more that I’d established a suitable base camp while anticipating the next leap forward. Home, in other words, was always over the horizon.

The closest I’d felt was the craftsman-style house we bought in the Rust Belt, but I knew I wouldn’t be living there forever. I was still building my resume, as the phrase goes, working my way up the management ladder.

More than three decades later, I’ve settled into a community that feels right, though I’m very much an outsider. At least, as far as a career goes, I’ve survived into retirement. As for the house? It’s been my address longer than any other, but somehow it still feels not quite solid. No amount of renovation will ever make it quite right, not with its leaky cellar and foundation. But it’s what I have and where I work at what I love to do. The garden’s in place, and then there’s the loft in my barn.

And then there’s family, with the kids now grown and housed elsewhere. Could it be home, then, is wherever my wife’s cooking? At least that points in a state of awareness direction.

As well as an underlying unsettled element in my own psyche.


My poems on the challenges of renovations, repairs, and relating as a husband are collected as Home Maintenance, a free ebook at Thistle/Flinch editions.


2 thoughts on “THIS MATTER OF HOME

  1. My parent’s house was torn down in 2012 to make way for a McMansion. It’s loss was painful because it was not only a very comfortable and functional country house but my father and grandfather built it. Now there is no place to underwrite my existence

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