Friday, July 20, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Though my daughter Olivia's father and I are no longer together, we remain good friends and to this day I am still in frequent contact with his family and adore them greatly.  I recently learned that the family is selling their home located in a beautiful, lake-filled suburb complete with wooded grounds and rolling hills and more than a few dirt roads.  This house has been in the family for over 35 years and is filled with many wonderful memories and stories.  In a recent conversation with Olivia's Nana Sherri, we were talking about how bittersweet the last few months have been as they prepared the home for sale.  The house is quite large, and with her family grown and mostly moved away, it now houses only herself and her husband and is of course, dotted sweetly with weekly visits from Olivia.  This is a lot of space for a couple looking forward to retirement and relaxation and it was with heavy but forward-looking hearts, they decided to downsize.  
The house rests in a wooded area and is very close to a pretty lake with boat access.  Sherri often talks about how lovely it was to allow her children to grow up in an open environment, complete with dirt-road walks, campfires, days on the lake and fire-fly catching at night.  It was stories like this that made me very excited to introduce my Olivia to a life that included the robust outdoors and playful, energetic activities.  
Though the family is not moving very far, and intend to stay close to the pretty lake and all of its amenities, it is still very difficult for Sherri to leave the home that has become the welcome retreat and foundation of life for the last 35 years.  It is my firm belief that life expands and flourishes not just by where we are at, but by whom we choose to surround ourselves with and also how we chose to exist in those surroundings.  The lake house is a true testimony to this belief.  When Sherri started her family with the love of her life, they, like many young couples, struggled to make ends meet and provide a comfortable and happy environment for their children.  They both worked hard and Sherri developed an interest in "garage-sale-ing" as an affordable way to uniquely and tastefully decorate her home.  Eventually, their hard work paid off and they were able to decorate the home as they wished, but Sherri's interest in re-furbishing and re-using a vast array of antiques, collectibles, home furnishings and the like stayed with her and she has managed to cleverly mix the old and the new and create quite an eye-catching and gorgeous home.
I was lucky enough to celebrate a milestone birthday with Sherri and her family a few years back and as a gift, decided to put together a photo book of this wonderful home and all of the treasures and memories it stores for those who are close to the family.  After Olivia was born, her father and I lived in the home for some time while getting on our feet during a career change, and the house holds a dear place in my heart because it enabled my family's survival for a short time and also because it held great hope for my own daughter's experiences growing up in and around the lake house.  
I've added a few of the pictures here today to give you an idea of the treasures and life that the house holds and perhaps this small tribute will bring comfort to Sherri as she packs her things and gets ready to move. I wish Sherri and her family lots of love as they embark on the next chapter of their lives and settle into their new house and become accustomed to new smells, sounds and structure. 

Our homes are the heart of our worlds.  Home is where family resides.  Home is what shelters us from the storm and keeps sacred our most treasured and true belongings.  There is something to be said for a person who puts their heart into making a warm, welcoming home for visitors and family alike.  We take pride in our home.  From the very first moment we cross the threshold, to the moment we lock the door behind us for the last time.  Home is where the heart is. 

 Home Sweet Home.

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