A Place to Come Home To

Whether it was a trip packed with cousins, grandparents, tea parties, war parties in the big field behind Aunt Judy’s house, or singing schools, meetings or spending the night at a friend’s house, it was good to come home. Same old home. Same old creaky board, same ole cat in the bushes waiting to jump out at you just before you reach the steps. There were so many things just the same. And there was a sense of security and comfort in going back to the things you could count on. So many wholesome things too, that I see more now, took a great deal of effort and deliberate action on Mama and Daddy’s part. Mama’s cheerful grin and peck on the cheek as she squeezed a good morning hug, daddy’s bacon and eggs, the traditions of making each birthday count, each accomplishment of your children something to brag about at the table that night – and being at the table each night, everyone, all together. You talked about your day, and things coming up and the funnies that stood out to you.

jan17-3313John Barrett and I jumped into this marriage and family thing, just like everyone else who doesn’t feel qualified. It’s amazing to me that we get to be Home for our kids. That we have the privilege of creating that same beauty of home with all its traditions, warmth and comfort. Sometimes I think – I don’t know where in the world to begin! But I do. It’s been instilled through the careful diligence of parents who kept on keeping on with the daily samenesses that seemed, I’m sure, tedious and almost pointless at times. But knowing I’d not go to sleep without Daddy praying over me, Mama singing over me, and saying “Good night! God bless and keep you through the night! I love you,” bound my heart even to the close of day, with another layer of love and safekeeping. jan17-3291

Now Mama comes and helps me with birth and labor, and with the carrying – on of creating that place you carry with you the rest of your life. Home isn’t a perfect place. You learn Things To Do, and things you Don’t Want To Do from it. But you learn, and still know more how to shape and create an environment of nurture from having experienced family and home yourself. jan17-3330jan17-3373

Recently, Grandmama went through the exhausting process of selling her house. Uncle David, Aunt Judy, Mama – they all helped. But what stood out to Anne and me vividly even this past week, was that it wasn’t just the house they were selling, it was the home my mama, aunt and uncle had known. And even grown as they are, in their 50’s and 60’s, that was tear-jerking, heart-wrending and just plain hard. Home registers deeply. Not all my friends had great homes growing up, but they are now a creating lovely atmospheres and traditions that will help shape beautiful lives and memories for their own kids. Family is a strong and powerful design, that has held the structure of society on its shoulders for millenniums. So, all you fellow family growers, and family members, take heart in all these traditions, these bits of sameness, routine, love and tradition. Thanks to them and your parents, they are the incognito silently arranging and cementing that wonderful place you get to cherish and come home to.jan17-3458jan17-3463

Daniel when he was just 3 weeks old and soooo litttttle (insert 10 cry faces and 15 heart eyes, of course) jan17-3475jan17-3478

I…..don’t know where she gets these faces….But they are INTENSE.jan17-3553jan17-3490“Uhhhhm….Mama, you should see this…just letting you know…it’s white, fluffy and falling from the sky…”

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We felt all pioneer drying our shoes and hats by the fire after staying a whole 3 minutes in the snow. jan17-3639jan17-3640jan17-3698jan17-3701Daddy’s lunch break means as much attention she can steal from him in an hour. jan17-3740jan17-3753

Carrot stick adds to the photo. BF-4916BF-4937BF-4954BF-4972

How, Chief.BF-4975BF-4991Sometimes hotels can have pretty headboards, I discovered. And this kid loves her little brother. I’m so glad that the massive mullet on her head ends in those three perfect curls which look simply divine with a bonnet on – and comically out of place without it.

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

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