I have lived in myriad places over the years and at each I have created a cozy sanctuary.  The old adage "a house is made of brick and stone, a home is made of love alone" is so very true.  In growing up I knew the same four walls until I left home.  My mother was the all time home creator.  Our home was a treat to the senses and growing up there left its mark deep within my being. Certain sights, sounds, smells, and taste transport me instantly to my childhood.  The smell of fresh baked bread and the sound of my mother's humming were a constant in my home.  And it just felt good!

Some homes and houses feel good.  I always get a feel for a place the minute I enter.  I am sure studies have been done on this, and I find it fascinating.  I have always striven for feel good homes, the type of place you want to just sit and stay awhile.  Coffee's on and you just know there are goodies stashed away just for your visit.  Good vibes surround and flow throughout the walls.

Since I left home I have lived in numerous homes in several states.  I longed for that feeling of permanence that I had in my growing up home.  But careers don't always allow such stability.  So I learned to create home each place I landed.  And I finally landed in one place long enough to find that perfect home and put down some serious roots.  And how I clung to that home, no matter what. Even when I worked elsewhere I kept a hold of it. 

House 002  

But there comes a time when you realize that four walls are just that, four walls, and home is a creation of the heart and can be anywhere.   It was difficult leaving that home, so very painful as it held so many memories of grandchildren and good times.  But I realized once again that memories don't reside in brick and mortar, they reside inside the heart.   

In leaving and reaching out for new horizons I have landed at the home I call Serenity Cottage. 

This was painted for me by Bill, one of the precious residents I am blessed to have in my community.

 A house just the perfect size and location for my lifestyle.  Light and airy, with darling neighbors, private drive, secluded park for a back yard and a gardener.  Absolutely perfect!  Yet, it is what is inside my heart that has led in the transformation of the bare structure to a home.  I am surrounded by all the bits and bobs and collections that hold such deep meaning to me.  And I continue to create memories and store them in my heart. 

I think about and ponder this deep attachment we humans have of place and permanence as I see this daily in my career.  I am witness to the struggle and heartbreak that seniors face as they are no longer able to live in their own homes.  Many resign themselves and are wise enough to know this is just another part of life's journey.  These are my role models.  Many take much prodding, and some refuse until they are hurt and come via a nursing home.  But what they all have in common, every single one, and that is that they do adapt.  They recreate home inside their own apartments, no matter how small.  And they go on living and growing.

Home is so personal to each of us.  To me there are a few essential ingredients for any house to be a home.   

 A home must have a cozy spot and lots of books.  I have shelves of books and more piled here and there.  My cozy spot in this home is on the couch where I can dream and also watch out the window:

Pets!  Mine are mighty squirrel hunters…..

 A place to create!  I need my area for creativity and it overflows with vibrant colors of fiber and fabric….excites my senses and gets the creative spirit churning!!!

Green spaces with room for the dogs and me to run…

I also love lots of nooks and crannies and closets for the grandkids to explore and hide in.  Secret places are an essential!!

What do you find is essential to your heart home?



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