Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ode to Home in Time for the Season of Nostalgia

As a self-proclaimed Homesteader, I’ve given some thought to the role Home plays in my life. Homesteaders in the traditional sense are concerned about the very basics of survival: food production, food preparation, shelter from the elements, food preservation, and propagating more humans to consume said food resources. 

Surely Home is a lot more than the sum of these skeletal parts. Screws and 2x4s, trusses and shingles, cement and hardwood: a house this makes- but a home?

The word Home has an emotional dimension that, when I imagine it, is the ‘meat’ (err: flesh) on the skeleton. Relationships, memory, expectations, and exasperations stretch over the structure and add warmth like that of new love or old love or bacon wrapped tenderloin.
There are many words that start with ‘home’ which are full of emotional associations. Let’s explore a few.

Consider the word: “Homemade”. Its very mention conjures the image of a crackling hearth and wafting scent of chicken soup and fresh bread.  Strange that this word doesn’t bring to mind those biscuits I cleverly disguised as ‘biscotti’ or the smoke from the hearth pizza that assailed the fire alarm until it shrieked like a cat fight.

Consider the word “Homemaker”. As a generation Y-er, I have a hard time detaching this word from snide ‘bare foot and pregnant in the kitchen’ comments. But the homemakers I’ve met don’t look much like their caricature. Women and men, fathers and grandmothers, they are involved in more than giving a house that homespun feel. Regularly they fuel the fire that is community action.

Say it, “Home.” I hear: Crackling fire (I don’t have a fireplace) and crinkle of Christmas presents (one day a year).

The reality is, at times Home sounds like me screaming at the kids to stop crying while they scream at me to stop screaming. Thankfully these off notes join the tenors of other sounds: the piano thunking, the girls wrestling on squeaky couch springs, the screen slamming with Mat’s entry, the bath tap pouring, the oven door opening, the forks scraping, and boots booming across the living room floor. The music of home, the real soundtrack and not the one created by advertisers and nostalgic storytellers, is dissident and soothing in even measure. It is as complex as a master composition: something to be enjoyed thoughtfully on a cold, snowy December Day.

Yak and Jammin

The ever-violent game of 'spoons'.

Yak and Jammin'

Kitchen Party
Murder Mystery Birthday party
Add caption
Back Deck Barber Shop


RootAndTwig said...

Well put! Love that our generation gets to rediscover (and expand) the many meanings of the word 'home-maker.' Loving your blog, and wishing you'd post more often.

An Avenue Homesteader said...

Thanks Andrea, We really are a generation of women with a great deal of choice eh? For good or bad, depends on my day! Thanks for the push to post more-- weeks go by so fast, no?