Home Is Where My Mom Is

I’m standing in the kitchen after our Thanksgiving dinner (in which the turkey turned out kind of tough, the apple-cranberry pie too juicy, and the rice pilaf an experiment in too much tarragon).  My daughter is washing dishes and she asks me if I have ever heard the statement “home is where my mom is”? I had not heard this before. 
She said that was how she felt in that moment, at home. Hearing her say this really touched my heart.
This statement has been in my mind ever since, making me question where home is for me, and what my friends would say to this. Perhaps the responses would all be different, just as I have found that the word home has many definitions.
Where is home to me? Is it here with my wonderful husband? Yes, and it is also… here I go, trying to pin it down, to give it one concise definition…but how can I? I also feel very much at home when in the presence of my daughter and her husband and son, or that of my own son and his beautiful wife. There is a comfort when I am in the presence of my dad and mom, my siblings, my extended family.
The definition that seems to resonate most with me says that home is “an environment offering affection and security”. How grateful I am that my childhood home fit this description, that my home I now share with my husband surrounds me with love and security. 
My childhood home in Illinois
Yes, home is a place, but isn’t it a spiritual place rather than a specific location? Isn’t home what we sense when we are so welcomed and loved by our friends or family that we can’t wait to go back there?  That place of love and acceptance, forgiveness and grace, that calls us to be just who we are. 
What are your thoughts? Fill in the blank: Home is where _____________ is.

Learning As I Go – – To Be Content

There is the anticipation in the air of loved ones coming for a visit.

Yeller in my Prayer Shawl

A lot of my housework is done, but there is more.  (Why do it all at once and then be bored?)
And I need to bake some pies, but that will be better done tomorrow so the pies will be fresh.
Rain is hitting the roof. (Good reason to stay in and avoid all shopping.)
Yeller the cat is not happy with us because we won’t let him go outside. (Muddy cat paw prints, yuk.)
But in all of this I am thankful. All of this fits together to make a perfect evening…at least for me.

Thankfulness.  Gratitude for not only what we Have but for what Life has handed us right now.  This is what I am learning. And as I learn about this gratitude I find that it is also important to accept and be grateful for the person I am, the person I am becoming, even the person I was yesterday.  There is a fabulous website that I like to read (http://www.traceyclark.com/) especially the section called “I’m Enough”. Perhaps you can view it and be lifted up as I have been.

Blessings and warm wishes to you on this Thanksgiving Eve…

Being Present

Choral singing is one of my favorite things, and this year will be my sixth season with the Lima Symphony Chorus. You can learn more about the Lima Symphony here.  The sound is amazing, but even more amazing just before time for a performance, when all the music, the words, the notes, the rhythm, and the little pauses between the notes all come together as one nice harmonious sound.

It was interesting tonight to see out the corner of my eye how everyone was sort of swaying the same way at the same time on some of the music. It was as though we were all doing the same dance to what we were singing. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed this before, this spontaneous movement, feeling the lift of the music together. It made me smile.

I am most present when I am in this group because I have to pay attention to the director and what I’m singing. All the worries of life are put aside because I’m there for one purpose, to learn the music and sing it well.
How difficult it is to learn to be truly present in all other areas of life. To just be right here right now. To carefully listen to what someone is saying without thinking about what I am going to say next, or what my opinion is on what I’m hearing. To look that person in the eye, sense their body language, and show them the respect and honor they deserve. And to learn to simply be, to know that this moment is enough. 
What went before is done, what will come we don’t know. Just like that favorite flower that blooms with all its might, I need to learn better how to be present.
“Take no thought for tomorrow. It has enough trouble of it’s own….”

Random Thoughts – On Welcoming Our Grandson

The longest drive (in my mind)
Text messages from my daughter
Phone calls along the way
(Embracing digital communication!)
Arriving in time
My daughter crying when she sees me
Me crying with her, tears of joy
The Grandparents Paparazzi
Our grandson, seen for the first time
Lots of loving arms
The sound of a newborn baby’s cry
Little fingers and toes
Garrett’s eyes
A new family
The look of being overwhelmed
Home, at the new little family’s home
Being Present
Soaking it all in
Fear when things don’t go as they should
Experiencing son-in-law and seeing him as husband,
father, protector, provider
My son-in-law walking in the door, seeing the dog
Being there.
Soup cooked, cookies and biscuits baked
(Grandma doing her own nesting)
Puppy kisses
Sun coming through the window
Baby booties that just don’t stay on
Precious little hands and feet
My daughter and her friend embracing, more tears
Breast pump, microwave sterilizer, bottles
Leave taking
Dreading to leave, to part
But knowing that leaving also means returning
The end of the pregnancy but the beginning of raising a child
The feeling of that baby’s head against my neck
The baby sounds
Tears, tears, tears
You’ll be okay, you’ll be okay.
Phenomenal experience
Seeing my son being the Uncle
His wife gently supportive and loving
Driving to our house, so far away
Measuring the hours, the distance
Thinking of them all the time
Finding all the text messages on my phone
Hugging my daughter and letting her cry
Being there to do that
Notes on pieces of paper
My list of what to pack when we get “the call”
The list by my daughter’s bed noting the timing of contractions
Being the grandma

Calling my own parents, the great-grandparents