our home, for Irene

Who doesn't love Irene?
Who couldn't eat her boys up with a SPOON?
Anyway, I was emailing with dear Irene, about this and that - and a trade of French shoes for Old Navy size five jeans, and somewhere along the line, Irene made a request.
Irene would like to see what I think makes our house a home, and while I could be all poetic and post a photo of the people who make our house a home (awwwww) I really do think she means the corners and things and cushy spots that make our house our home.

So, here you are -
spontaneous shots with no clean up! ( I must really love Irene.)

the porch

Even though I have daydreamed about closing up our porch and making it an indoor foyer, I must admit that I love that our house has a porch. It's a great place for the firewood (and I would have included the fireplace in the post but forgot to shoot it), it's a wonderful place to watch a storm and the place we hang our Tibetan prayer flags when travelers need safe trips. It's a noisy but comfortable place to sit on the swing and talk or think -swing

I can't imagine our house without it.

front step

K and Youngest and I chose the stone for our front step. It has two drilled holes in it and this year a squirrel planted a pumpkin seed in one of them. We are very excited.
We spent many months looking for this stone and it was quite a job getting it in place. I feel like it's the very first personal touch guests encounter when they arrive.

front door

Our new-ish front door is our only unobstructed view of the front yard and street.
I hang everything from antique dishtowels to clearance rack place mats in the window to shade us from the sunset each evening and am always happy to see the UPS guy's brown hat through it when he brings us presents.

Inside there are lots of places that make our house home.
They are as personal as our bedrooms, cluttered but comfy...

Youngest's bed, recently vacated.

Or as public as the dining room, which is truly the hub of the house.

the hub use

We blog, email, and work here under the big board. Sometimes we eat here too,
together as a family or mixed with extended family or friends. We rarely eat in restaurants and only order food once a month or so. K and I love to have dinner parties here and take great care planning the menus.
Of course, dozens of other things happen on this table -



restringing guitars is one of my favorites.

my desk

Did you lose your permission slip? Want to know about Sunday's church service?
Perhaps you've noticed that the dog has lost one of her tags. Don't worry, it's ALL on my "desk." Yes, it's just a small square counter, but it holds all the information on everything from health insurance to itineraries from trips (past and future). The cabinet above is the medicine cabinet and the radio (usually tuned to public radio) keeps me informed whilst cooking and cleaning.
Just don't ask me when your Global History final is - those schedules for the end of the year are inscrutable.

I could list so many things that make our house our home:

cheese drawer

the cheese drawers,
the poorly arranged but pretty garden,


or even the kitchen sink

the kitchen sink

(full of dishes, gah).
I love my sink. When it's full of warm water you can feel the heat through the stone when you press up against it...

But Irene wants to know about other things too -
like the way the sun plays on the living room carpet

rug in sun

Or the faces that look down on us -


or the hooks in almost every room -


small things that we don't think about every day but which make the house ours.
If any of those little things in the background of our lives changed we might not notice, but we appreciate their constancy.

I was busy taking pictures inside and out for this post - thinking about our home, and thinking about Irene, who is so many years behind me in making her new house her own. And then I turned around and saw something else that makes all the difference in the world -

the neighbors

My neighbor's house.
They can, and have, availed themselves of us at any hour. And we can and do the same.
For an egg or an onion or someone to sit with a baby.
For coffee and complaining, for wine and celebrating.
We watch over their house and they keep an eye out when we are away.
They can't ever move - I've told them so.
There is great comfort in having them across the street.
They are part of our home.


Carol said…
I think she'll get it.

(Don't take this wrong - it's meant to be a compliment - but this post, in particular, makes you seem very, very wise.)
jenny said…
your home looks oh so comfortable and it's such a reflection of you all.

very nice.
Anonymous said…
This is fabulous - touching and serene and beautiful. I want to come to your house blackbird.

I love this about your sink:
"When it's full of warm water you can feel the heat through the stone when you press up against it..."
Paula said…
I love seeing your home.

I think if I had to choose between just starting out or where I am now, I would pick now every time.
~ej said…
what a wonderful comfy house. i've always thought this as i've seen glimpses of it on your blog. your hardwood is SO pretty. and your front door and porch and entryway are very inviting. i wish for a porch and gravel on the front path, and not cement! one day perhaps...
Anonymous said…
Ahhhhhhh...what a treat to see your home.
I am sooooooo far away from that, I am starting to think I'll never see the end of it...now we're fighting for the new cooking device, oy oy oy!
I ADORE your porch, don't you EVER close it. And the stone is beautiful.
And Irene is too!
MizMell said…
Looks very comfy. I just have one question... what is a cheese drawer?
Badger said…
I think I'll call this a meme. And steal it.
Alice said…
With posts like that I don't feel like I've left your house, lovely.
Caterina said…
This post is one of my favorites. It is comfortable and comforting, warm and inviting. I like this post as much as the one about you being a REAL Mom.

And I agree with omsh....I love the "warm sink."
Anonymous said…
We too searched for the perfect rock for our front step. Our search ended just a couple of weeks ago when we found "the one" in Moab, Utah. Great post, thank you.
tut-tut said…
I think I'd feel right at home. Lucky to have such neighbors; mine are, well, spooky.

Thought you hadn't posted, but L is finished with the schoolyear, and she reads your blog first thing!
Anonymous said…
thank you, thank you, thank you bb.
you know I love you too :)

there are so many things I love about this post, so much inspiration I get from it, to make our new house our home.I really hope that in a few years I'll be close to where you are.

oh where to start? the stone, the sink, the portraits, the big board. everything exudes such warmth and beauty.

and thank you for the jeans! the boys will be thrilled. well, maybe not, but I know I am! XOXO

ps: thank you Paola!
Annagrace said…
lovely--thank you for sharing. it's just the sort of place one would WANT to run to for a cup of coffee or a friendly ear...
Anonymous said…
This was just lovely. The post, the photos--it's the *whatever* in this post that drew me to your blog to begin with.

I don't know what the *whatever* is, but it really draws me in to your writing. And I want to stay, bb.

Just beautiful. All of it.
Thank you for making such a wonderful house to share with us.
afc said…
so lovely. and the part about the neighbors being a part of it i get. mine are moving and i'm devastated.
islaygirl said…
thank you so much. your house looks just as i imagined it would.
RW said…
what a lovely glimpse into your life.
thanks for sharing.
Anonymous said…
Great post - I love your way with words....thank you for sharing. Your house looks lovely - my favorite part is the dishes in the sink - makes it very real - in fact, could be my sink right now, except mine isn't as cool as yours...
Anonymous said…
Thank you for opening your door and welcoming us all in. I just love your home.
Suse said…
Ah .... lovely lovely.
Anonymous said…
I love the hole drilled in your rock and the chalkboard in the dining room and your garden (blue columbines -- divine!) and I've always loved seeing your kitchen. It truly is a home.

I might steal this as well and call it a meme.