Jennifer at HomeMattersMost has asked her fellow bloggers to write a post about why their home matters most to them and there's a lovely book that the generous lady's giving away to whoever's entry is 'pulled from a hat' at the end of it all. This is my contribution.
I’ve always been a bit of a wanderer and since leaving home at the tender age of 18, I’ve lived in 18 different properties. Mum insists it’s the gypsy blood in me coming out (My great-grandmother was a Romany Gypsy) and really never thought I’d settle down, but to everybody’s surprise, I’ve now lived in this house for almost 8 years.
When I was younger, home didn’t really exist as such. A property was just a place where we could be out of the elements, rest our heads and prepare for the next adventure. Even when we eventually built our own house I still didn’t feel any real attachment to it - it hurt more to sell the caravan, which satisfied my wanderlust, than it did to sell the house. But things change.
Becoming ill put a stop to my spontaneous lifestyle and I had to settle, like it or not. I wasn’t too happy with that to start with, especially as I live in what I considered to be a very poky little house - I was used to the big Norwegian homes and a tiny 3-bed roomed terrace in the UK felt like living in a chicken coop in comparison. I felt cramped and smothered, almost as if I couldn’t breath through lack of space both inside the house and in the tiny garden.
You get used to things though, and gradually I started to see this place differently - if I was going to be here for a long time, best make it into a proper home. I’ve gradually been transforming it into a place where I can feel happy and contented, safe from the world and where stress doesn’t exist. Peace and quiet are important to me - the days of having friends over to party at the weekends or trails of kids running through the place are long gone.
Even though I don’t own the house (it’s housing association so secured long-term tenancy) I'm not afraid of putting money or work into it. I’m saving for a new kitchen, I want to install a shower and improve the bathroom, the rest will be redecorated to a much higher standard than is the case today and the garden will be given a complete make-over. I suppose you could say that I’ve finally come to rest, found my base, the place where I can return to knowing that I’ll find the peace I need.
I like to have friends over and there’s always a bed for the night if they need it but unsavoury types aren’t welcome here and neither are those who disrespect my home; I expect everybody to chip in and keep the equilibrium of peace and harmony going. Unfortunately, not everyone understands that. I like the sound of laughter and conversation in the house, but I also enjoy being alone, finding pleasure in quiet solitude while I sit and read, write, knit, sew or just ponder life.
To me, home matters most because it’s where I spend the bulk of my time, and gives me what I need most from life. Contentment.