There is a quote from each book that drives this home for me.
First from The Gentle Art of Domesticity: Stitching, Baking, Nature, Art & the Comforts of Home: It helps to have a state of mind that can turn even the smallest indulgence into a luxury. This means looking positively at your life--considering not what you want to have, but what you can or already have. (pg. 178)
From Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures: These specifics of our homes are as varied as we are, but I do believe something connects them all: they have soul. These items in our homes, and our homes in general, are in some way a reflection of ourselves and our lives, a connection to our past, a dream for our future. In other words, they have life to them. (pg. 178)
Both of those snippets got me thinking. What is a luxury in my life? What gives my home soul? This is especially meaningful to me as we set up home in a new city far from our friends, family, support systems--all those external things that often seem to define us. Here's what came to my mind:
- The ritual of making coffee: hearing the whistling of the tea kettle, the whir of the coffee grinder, the aroma of the steam when the coffee and water first meet and blend, the steeping, the pressing, the pouring and finally that first sip.
- Sitting in my bright "front room" in my new favorite chair drinking coffee, reading The Word and praying over my little household.
- The hubbub and chaos that is dinner time with small children. Ralph and I dancing around each other in possibly our smallest kitchen to date. Nugget running around needing more attention that usual. Zita deciding to no longer be content wherever it is that she is. The give and take of one taking over kid patrol, the other dinner and trading places as needed. This is a short season of life that will be missed when it is passed but will be replaced by something new and equally challenging.
- Being surrounded by my favorite things: my green fuzzy kitchen rug, coffee mugs that are pleasing to my eye and hand, my favorite fork (seriously, I have a favorite fork), being surrounded by my books that feel like old friends (some from my earliest memories), my photos that bring my favorite places and people into this new space, my pillow that cradles my head each night
- Oddly enough, our morning routine before I go to work. The early morning quiet broken only by the sound of the espresso machine hissing and steaming. Providing my the inertia needed to start my day. The few quiet moments of visiting with my husband. The drive to work that now provides glimpses of mountains that remind me of where my help comes from.
- My days "off" that start earlier than I would like with precious smiles from Zita who is just tickled pink to see us each morning. The comforting routine of Nugget running to her bath each morning, excited to take part in her morning routine. Sharing coffee with my husband.
- Creating tasty menus, meals and treats for my family. Testing the limits of what can be made at home. Bringing some order to the chaos that comes with small children.
- Quiet evenings and late nights after both girls are asleep hanging out with my husband--relaxing; reading; testing a new dessert (more often than is truly healthy); researching this, that, and the other thing; watching our favorite TV shows together; and/or plotting our next family adventure.
- New rituals like eating our leisurely Saturday breakfast on the back deck instead of the front porch. Walking to church Sunday mornings. Finding new places to explore on a regular basis.