May 5, 2007

Missing Home

I have been missing our house in Baltimore. Sure, I miss people, but those relationships feel renewable, or at least, eternal. Our house though, it’s gone. I can’t call it to ask how my trees are growing in the back yard, to check if the new owners stained the trellis, to hear morning birds in their frenzy or watch hummingbirds and monarch butterflies visit as they migrate through.

Mostly I’m missing our house because here, in a two-bedroom apartment, having house guests feels crowded and stressful. In Baltimore we had an upstairs guest room and a finished basement with a half bath. With four floors, a front porch (with Sky Chair), and back yard with hammock, it was easy to feel alone in a multitude.

Here? Not so much. Even one more person feels like a negotiation of emotional and physical space. It’s frustrating because every person who has come to visit us has been welcome and enjoyed, but we’re burning out. The guest bedroom is the office. When guests come, we bring my computer, the bills and assorted digital devices and plugs into the bedroom. We blow up the airmattress and lose access to that bedroom’s closet. We share one bathroom, one television and one floor.

I hesitate to write this post because many of you who read this would be and have been welcome visitors. My point is more that we had this many visitors in Baltimore, but it didn’t impact us the way it has here. It just reminds me how much we gave up to move here. Which puts a LOT of pressure on life here to have glories that far outweigh our sacrifice, and so far? Not so much.

For me, that house was really the gift of Home after losing my family home. Since it’s the mom that makes a family house a home, losing her meant losing Home. In Baltimore it was easy to imagine Jesus waiting for me in the window seat, wanting to talk and hang out. I could go down to the basement at any time of day or night, close out the dog or my sleeping husband, and bang on my djembe and just pray and cry without thinking of anyone hearing me. In that house I could feel cared for just by the physical space. It’s hard to lie in a hammock under the gentle branches of a weeping cherry tree and not feel the presence of Someone loving me. I know my relationship with God, with my husband, and with our friends is bigger than a setting, I just hate how squeezed all three feel in this apartment.

Wistfully yours,


scarp said...

Hmmm...if it helps any, I miss that house too. It really was a 'home'. I could feel that. It was such a comfortable place to visit, in part because of the amount and layout of the space. I always felt like I could sort of slip into your routine and appreciate being around you both without really inconviencing you much. Of course, I also like the much shorter, more manageable distance. And the best part was always just seeing the two of you...

Inkling said...

I'm with you on missing a sense of "home". Thank you for writing such a thoughtful post. I needed that.

Rachel said...

I hear you on the houseguests thing. We no longer host people at our apartment. It's just too stressful, so when people come they get a hotel room. It's not cheap, though. :(

I can also relate to your feeling like you are sacrificing a lot to live there. I've felt that way since I moved to CA ten years ago. . .yet here I am, still. I try to focus on the positives, like the weather and all the different kinds of ethnic food.

Wistful one said...

Baltimore misses you too. If you want me to check on your trees, I'm happy to spy for you :) I really believe this new stage of your life will soon surprise you with its own blessings and CA will find its own unique way of being "Home." I love you.

OTR sister said...

I understand completely.

Snickollet said...

I hear you. We're tight on space, too, and while I love having visitors, I often feel overwhelmed and stressed while they are here.

Melissa said...

I relate to this. We are now living in a place bigger than our last (now we have 2 bedrooms!) but it's still very small. Very small.

I really miss my family home in Canada and we are (slowly) saving money so we can buy a place of our own back there. It's probably the most important goal we share as a family, in fact.

Having company is a bit of a strain for us too -although we are lucky in that most Korean guests feel perfectly comfortable sleeping on a "yo" on the floor!