Monday, May 4, 2015

Home to me






I came here nearly nine years ago with my husband and our one-year-old son. I'd never been here before, not even to have a look around. I got off the plane and New Mexico became my home. It was the most adventurous thing I had ever done, but I wasn't afraid, or even worried: my husband had a new job here and I trusted him. He'd never steered me wrong before. He still hasn't. We didn't start out in this house; we rented a different place for over two years, just trying to get a feel for the area and which part seemed like home to us. When we found it, we just knew. We could see ourselves raising our children here, living our lives in a cozy pueblo-style home on a pretty street in a quiet neighborhood. We had fruit trees and a xeriscaped front yard, with a little grassy area and big patios in back.

Do we find our homes or do they find us? I think it's some of each. I know how to live here. I knew which corners were good for toddler time-outs. I know which ones are good for photographing a jar of flowers or a plate of cookies. I know which windows let in the most cricket-song in summertime, for better or worse. I have honeysuckle outside the kitchen window and a tiny ornamental olive tree bowing gracefully near the living room. I have a courtyard draped with wisteria and trumpet vine. There are road-runners, hawks and hummingbirds in droves, practically. I have no illusions that this place is perfect and in fact, there are plenty of things I'd gladly change. But I can live with all of them and I will do so for years to come because they're purely cosmetic, or they're mostly ideas born in flights of fancy about how much better things would be if only, which amount to basically the same thing.

Beyond the house, this land has become my home. My best friendships have been formed under giant cottonwoods in the park, moms seeking shade while our kids (hatted and lavishly sunscreened) play. My marriage has grown and matured here, in some part due to long walks in the Bosque and night drives in the foothills. This is the place where I've learned to take small steps toward self-sufficiency and where I've made parenting decisions I know I wouldn't have considered before. Here, I've learned to recognize a Zia symbol and to love chile (green, please). I know the weather patterns now, the parched times and the stormy times, when we can expect icy gales and lowering clouds and when we can sit in the backyard, glass in hand, staring at the open sky. I've grown accustomed to short winters and long summers, springtime dust and autumn's spicy smoke. My eyes are used to the mountain and the glittering nighttime mesa. I'm used to the sunsets too, but I still try not to miss a single one.

56 comments:

  1. I stopped by to leave a comment on your previous post but in the meantime you've gone and written another one! Both lovely to read and look at, thank you. I wanted to say that I, too, have pads of paper, brushes and paints in a cupboard given to me by my husband after we visited an exhibition years ago. I used to draw and paint a lot when I was young but haven't for a long while. You might just have given me that nudge. Oh, and I definitely like the sound of where you call home. I love a good sunset. Sam Xx

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  2. What a wonderful post Jennifer, you do write so very beautifully. You've captured the flavour of your home and community so well. I really enjoyed reading this, especially about how you fell in love with your home. It's always nice that you're satisfied with your life, and happy with what you have. I have friends who are always a little dissatisfied, they want more, always something bigger or better, it's a shame when they already have so much. It's something I always very much enjoy about your posts, your gratitude and contentment. CJ xx

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  3. Yes, a really lovely post. Have a good summer Jennifer. I know it isn't all going to be plain sailing, but I hope it turns out well for you all x

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  4. It's another beautiful post! I like this tribute to your home and to your husband.

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  5. I can feel the connection you have to your home, and your land, and it is a beautiful one. I feel the same way about finding our home, we didn't find it, it found us, and at the end of the month we will have lived here for 18 years. It feels like yesterday in some ways, and yet, I feel deeply rooted here, connected to our home and our land.

    Wishing you many more wonderful, fulfilling years in your home.

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  6. This is just lovely. Our thoughts were similar, it either felt right or it didn't.
    New Mexico is breathtaking in so many ways, what a wonderful place to find a home ~

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  7. That was one beautiful piece of writing about your home and the area in which you live. I love how you express yourself through your writing and photography.

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  8. Thanks for sharing your home with us, Jennifer. As you have celebrated it in this post you have helped me feel welcomed and invited to join in your celebration. Thanks! :) xx

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  9. I wonder that too....do we find our homes or do they find us. Your writing about home is so beautiful Jennifer. It is so amazing to watch a home evolve over time and us with it. To me it is like an old friend. Wishing you many blessed years in this warm and inviting space! What a gift you are giving to your kiddos! Happy week to you!! Nicole xo

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  10. Oh what a beautiful post Jennifer. My thoughts about Spokane are very similar only change plant life and animals, etc. to the Northwest equivalent. The only thing I regret was not renting for awhile before we purchased our first home here. You were very wise. I love that you love your home and life.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  11. What a lovely post; such a feeling of contentment seems to be rare in today's World. Your love of your home and family shines through all your posts and it's one of the reasons I love reading your blog so much. Keep enjoying those glorious sunsets. xx

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  12. Beautiful post.... When I was reading, something familiar struck me - your happiness in your marriage. My feeling is, that when you're happily married, almost everywhere can be your Home... As long as the people you love are with you...

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  13. This is such a lovely post Jennifer. Contentment and happiness are oozing out, making your readers happy, too. Thank you, I have learned so much here, not just today, but every time I visit. xx

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  14. It's true what everyone is saying Jennifer. I only recently discovered your blog via the Colour Collabarative and I'm finding it such a happy and contented place to visit that I'm actually reading back through your archive.

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  15. I love this post... It' so true about the things that make our houses/towns home. I could have said many of these words myself about my own home and town. Just lovely.

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  16. A truly beautiful post Jennifer! :)

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  17. Jennifer what a beautiful expression of what home means, your writing is really so very good. That photograph of the golden light spilling from the window just sums up the glow I feel from reading your words. X

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  18. I like the sentiments expressed here Jennifer, and the way you embraced your new life with your husband. I love the magenta and almost purple skies that you show here, life looks happy and very good for you and your little family which is lovely.

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  19. This is a very beautiful post, Jennifer. You have a wonderful way with words...and photos too.
    Helen xox

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  20. lovely post.....and i strongly think that often houses choose their owners. a happy owner results in a happy house that you can often tell from curbside!

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  21. Beautiful post capturing the essence of the community and the home you live in.

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  22. What a lovely post. I think being with our loved ones soon makes a house a home. Sharon x

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  23. What a beautiful post. I don't dream of somewhere huge or luxurious; just somewhere I can see the hills from and a place with its own little piece of earth.
    A few things I spotted recently resonated with me: that happiness is about making the most of what you have, and that 'Love grows best in a small house'.
    I still harbour fantasies of one day moving to the U.S. though - if we met the immigration criteria we'd have moved there long ago. Shame my mum's green card isn't transferable!
    S x

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  24. you paint a beautiful picture.. you describe your home exactly how a home should be described.. full of love, growth and cookies :)

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  25. It's great you feel so much at home and really love where you are.

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  26. It sounds like you've really fallen in love with your home, but what an adventure, moving to a place you'd never visited before. I've lived all my life within about a six mile radius, I can't really imagine living far from here.

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  27. It sounds like a wonderful place to call home. You've been so lucky to find this lovely little corner of the city to settle down in and raise a family. We moved from London to Sheffield five years ago. I've given up my nursing job and we were going to have our first child. I've been here before to see my husband's family but didn't really know much about the city and it felt like the start of a big adventure. I still have a lot to learn about the city but we're settled here now. It's great to find a place you can call home. X

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  28. It sounds like the perfect place for you Jennifer it must be lovely to be happy living where you are. I'm still looking for my perfect place. :) xx

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  29. What a truly beautiful post - you are blessed to have that feeling that you are exactly where you are meant to be at this time. Just lovely. Thanks for sharing your home thoughts.
    Hugs
    xx

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  30. There is a beauty to someone who appreciates what they have. You have that. Bravo! I am also pretty happy here, but I do wish for a remodeled bathroom. :-) You and I both have room for chickens and for that we are grateful. Enjoy your week, my friend! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  31. Sounds to me like this was a home meant to be for you. I didn't have a choice in picking or home. My husband wanted it because it was close to where he grew up. It was a wreck when we bought it and when I first stood in the doorway heavily pregnant with my son, I cried not wanting to have to make this place or home. It took me so many years to get used to our house and in the neighbourhood I'm still treated as an outsider and am not accepted in. But now none of that matters to me. We've made it into a home. The place of so many memories. The place where I'm happy to hang my family photos and the place I'm content to sit and create. My kids have freedom here. The freedom to run and play like kids used to. Seeing them happy here makes me happy.
    Rosie

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  32. Very beautifully phrased and expressive. I really enjoyed reading this post. Thank you.

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  33. What a wonderful post. And somehow exactly what Iwould expect the story of your home to be. It's too long a tale for a blog comment but I will tell you some time how our (not entirely suitable, far too small, much loved, becoming a little shabby) house found us :)

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  34. Hey Jennifer,
    This post resonates with me at the moment. After much debate, we have decided once and for all to stay put in our house. I am rather glad. I love my house.Yes there are bits that maybe I'd change (I'm sowing the seed of one such change right now). But actually it really suits us and our needs.The boys always talk about how much they love living within its' walls. And as you know I have fallen in love with my local area. Rather like yourself. You and I share a similar intimacy of the landscape that we call home. We have so much in common you and I. I think we see things through similar eyes.
    Leanne xx

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  35. I loved this post Jennifer. Finding the right place to live is extremely difficult but when we find it, that feeling is like a comforting sigh. To make the home the place to bring up our children is incredibly satisfying and then we come to the time when it is time to move on. This is where I am now and as much as we decorate to de-personalise, it's hard to paint over those height chart marks on doors and fill in little scratches made by toys during a temper tantrum etc. I keep thinking that once the decorating is finished and the house is on the market it will be a very hard time for us all. Have a wonderful week x

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  36. Lovely post, Jennifer. :o)

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  37. such a wonderful post Jennifer, filled with love for your home x

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  38. What a beautifully written post. It's funny how you just know when a house - and area - is home. But you just do. You've created something wonderful. Xx

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  39. Hello Jennifer! I've just noticed that you have signed up on my blog…..thankyou for stopping by and reading my thoughts!
    I've been having a little look around here on your bit of cyberspace and am entranced by the light and cloud in your photos. Its such a different look in warmer climes, I think. Lovely to 'meet' you!!

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  40. Beautiful dramatic skies. I've never been to NM but I'm sure I would love it.

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  41. I think when you find your home you definitely know it. This is such a lovely post Jennifer. I love the photos you taken too. xx

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  42. What a wonderful post Jennifer!! it is pure poetry so inspiring :)

    Lluisa xoxo

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  43. What a beautiful post, Jennifer. I think you should enter this piece in a writing contest. Seriously. It is that good.

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  44. Such a gorgeous post today. I think homes find us just when we need the right one. I also think homes have feelings and yours is thrilled to have a loving, caring family living within its walls.
    Meredith

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  45. Such a great post, really enjoy it, sounds like home to me
    Clare x

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  47. Right, that's it my bags packed my family and I are moving in. I love your writing it is so emotive and beautiful. Have you ever considered doing this for a living? , write a book . You are fabulous.
    I think homes find us, this post has made me a bit sad . We have two homes and the one I really love is being rented out .We had a tenant from hell who decided to change almost everything without permission. She even managed to change the entire bathroom suite and tiles. I had the most amazing marble worktop that she decide to cut to fit in her fridge all without our permission. She then decided to stop paying the rent and we had to evict her. It cost so much money. She destroyed the place .Despite all this we still regard it as our home and we are still renting it and one day I will get it back and restore it. so I really do think homes find us.
    I really loved this piece.

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  48. Jennifer, what a lovely post! -Beautiful.

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  49. A beautifully-written post, which seemed to bring your home and country alive for me. It seems so different to where I live, and yet the simpler things in life bind us all, don't they? I agree that we know when we have found the right home for us - it just feels right :)
    Cathy x

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  50. A fabulous and honest post. I really enjoy your writing and take on life, not to mention the photos. Thankyou x

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  51. An extremely moving post. Thanks for sharing.

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  52. This is a stunning post Jennifer. You've expressed your love of your home so eloquently and I've loved reading how the place where you live has shaped who you are and what you do. Beautiful. J9 x

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  53. It looks so beautiful there, it reminds me a lot of when I lived in Arizona. I do miss those amazing sunsets. It's so heartwarming to hear you speak of your home, and that you feel like it's where you should be. I love that.

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  54. It sounds like the best kind of adventure, one with a wonderful 'ending', I realise that your life hasn't ended there, just that you moved and are not thinking of moving again because where you are is right. This is such an eloquent post that touches on so many things. I read an interesting book once where it talked about home and what that really means, a house is the fabric around you but a home is so much more than that. You are so right that when we find the perfect place for ourselves, we also find ourselves.

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  55. Your home sounds amazing... I really enjoyed this post. You seem so happy and content and it's lovely to read about it! x

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  56. I have certainly missed your heartwarming posts, Jennifer. I so enjoy how you nurture the simple pleasures of life and add new meaning and depth to the small details that many others would totally miss. Your posts always remind to slow my pace and be mindful (my word for the year) of the present -- you do a much better job of it than I do, but I'm working on it. It's always a real pleasure to see your children doing "children things" instead of their heads bent over a smart phone or iPad. You give me hope for the future generations.

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