Friday, July 29, 2011

Finding Home

Fireside Fridays - Join me by the fire for conversations about how to nurture your family and make your home a warm and inviting place for family and friends.

Say hello to Martha - my guest blogger. She's back to share some thoughts on "home". This post will be especially meaningful to those of you who are transitioning to a new home or getting ready to leave for your freshman year of college.

Most of you reading this do not live near me.  You might be in the next town, next state or next continent. I’ve lived on three different continents and each place became my home.  At 14, my family moved to La Paz, Bolivia.  It doesn’t seem like such a far stretch today as the world has gotten much smaller with technology making everything accessible everywhere. But in 1968 the world was not so small. It was vast.

I flew with my siblings to La Paz where our parents had already established residence at a “Swiss Chalet” up in the city.   A very gracious local Swiss businessman allowed us to live there temporarily.  Having come from the Oklahoma countryside, awakening that first morning to the blaring activity of the city left me feeling out of place.  The smells were different, the 14,000 foot altitude certainly made the air itself different, the language was different, and the food was different.  I was truly a foreigner in a foreign land.  We had been without our parents for about six months as they attended a language school in Costa Rica and we were adrift.  But the sun does come up each day no matter how we feel, or where we are, and life does go on at a quick clip.  If you don’t get up and go with it, it moves on without you. Fortunately, we got up and went.  After a week. our lost luggage was returned to us and we met a few other Americans our age.  

We soon got involved with the local happenings and learned how to get around the city.  Transportation was nothing like I had EVER seen.  City buses were available everywhere all the time with locals crammed suffocatingly close inside - and hanging off the sides of the bus.  At such a high altitude vehicles move slowly, and I soon learned how to jump from the bus while it moved along.  We also hitch hiked - something I would never do today of course!  We quickly become accustomed to life in La Paz.


But “home” didn’t really happen until the church parsonage was built eight months later in the lower area (10,000 ft. above sea level) of La Paz called Calacoto.  A daily routine evolved and life became as predictable as it could be living in a city where political revolutions occurred with frequency.  My mother is a real nester and it didn’t take her long to fill the house with class, beauty and organization.  We lived a few blocks from the American Cooperative School we were to attend for our schooling as well as church services.  We were set for the next four years of life.  We were home.  We were together.  Things felt right.

Why had the chalet not felt like home?   I think it had to do with the nesting factor and time.  The chalet was lovely but my mother couldn't rearrange or make personal touches to it.  It belonged to another family.  We found home when our residence, with time, received its mark by us.  We left our own notations in the new parsonage.  From my father’s typewriter hammering away in his office to the sound of my mother’s knitting needles clicking with each knit and pearl the sounds were of our family.  

Friends would come and go and my parents entertained a great deal.  With time, the history of our life was laid in the house on Calle 10.

For me it takes a year for a place to feel like home. Four seasons filled with happenings that become traditions. Experiencing the scents of each changing season and then expecting their return the following year provides you with a marker of time, routine, and the knowledge of what's to come.  Time to make friends who permeate your life, time for seasons to come and go, and time to leave your mark on your home.  So be patient all you who travel and move.  You will find home again. 

- Martha


Fridays are all about home and family . . .

Our family photo category for next week is:

Photos of your family having fun by, on, or in a body of water. It can be a lake, ocean, swimming pool - anything that's wet.

Submit your pictures to


The winner of our giveaway will be announced on Monday. To be registered in the drawing, post your answer to this question in the comments section or on my Facebook page (see sidebar):

Whether you pick them yourself or buy them pre-packaged, where is your favorite place to get blueberries in the summer?

So love your presence here at The Warming House. Come see us again on Monday! If you're in the process of moving to a new home - or to your freshman year of college - remember Martha's words. When you make your mark on your new residence, it will eventually make its mark on you - and you will find "home." 

Enjoy "home" wherever your home might be . . .

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