Monday, March 30, 2015

Home Fires

It's writing group week again and I have to prepare for Thursday.  We're meeting at my place and I'm hoping it will be a sunny morning. We'll gather around the dining room table, the one that is right in front of the ceiling to floor windows that make up the back wall of that part of the apartment.  No need to bring folding chairs from their hiding places, I have eight perfectly comfortable chairs that slide easily into their own places at the table.  That's why, when I saw it in the store, I made an instant purchase.  It was always in my head, that dining room set, and when the snap decision to buy it was made, it was easy to justify.  A place for the whole family.  The grandchildren will not have to sit elsewhere, not have to use odd chairs, but forever will have their own places at the table and there will be lots and lots of room for all.  I love that table.  It's my version of a farm table, not exactly rustic but not formal either.  It wasn't new when  we bought it, rather it was painted over by the seller, in colors that, in their neutrality, made a statement up against the backdrop of tree tops and the beautiful pond below. That table is as important as a family member, so important that during a house hunt, it became a deal breaker more than once.  There had to be a place for it, no matter what. Second in line is the fireplace.  If the table is my lifeline, the fireplace is my heart beat, my pulse.

The prompt for this week's write is the word "Home".  Sounds easy.  I find it to be anything but.  I'm having a hard time with that word but must admit, it has gotten me through some sleepless moments over the
past few nights.

I used it as a mantra for meditations that I counted on for a return to sleep.
 The opportunities were boundless.  Home improvement, home schooling, home equity, home maker, home base, home grown, home goods, home style, home land, home made, home page, home fries, home owner, home fires, home life, home plate, home cooking, home spun, home body, home plate, home, home on the range. You get it.  There are a gazillion more but I'll hold onto that fact and perhaps use it again when I am up in the middle of the night thinking about my safety and security again.  Maybe I'll meditate on a quest to discover why so many of my "homes" are attached to words like "life, plate, cooking, fires, base and maker". These came to me in a flash.  I had to sit and think of others while writing this today and it was taxing, so I stopped.

I'm just not sure what and where home is to me or even what I would answer were I asked, "So, Lynn, where do you call home?" It's probably best that I never become a contestant on The Wheel of Fortune lest I make a total fool out of myself and Pat Sajak for having asked that simple question.  I suppose the answer would and should be "Pat, I'm a New Yorker", and then I would need the next five minutes to drive home my point......bagels, lox, cream cheese, the Yankees, the Bronx, uptown, downtown, subways, taxis, pretzels with mustard, hot dogs from carts on the corner, the fruit man who doesn't want my pennies, sidewalks, beeping horns, marriage proposals from strangers on street corners, buskers, busking on subway platforms, buskers on the street, buskers in Grand Central Station.  Grand Central Station!!!!  Home is where the heart is.

I'm feeling conflicted and confused.  The Winter wraps are finally coming off.  I knew where I had to be last season. I was stuck and I missed my life.  I need it back.  We're looking for a new house now, waiting to find just the right one before lease-renewal time is here.  We're racing against other people who are emerging from their own Winter cocoons and the idea of spending twenty minutes in a house that has a For Sale sign on its front lawn, and making a decision so huge, is scaring me to death.  I'm not sure that I will ever be able to refer to a house as a "home".  I don't think I have it in me.  But I do have the fireplace and I do have the table and the chairs and wherever I go, they go and whoever sits at that table will define what it is that I call home, if only for that time they are there. 

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