This little face always welcomes me when I come home, no matter how long I have been gone! It is one of many things that make it so nice to come home.
I am a home-body. I enjoy being home and spending time in the house and in the yard.
Why is that?
I have thought about this and it seems that the word itself is greater than the place it is associated with. It is more than a building. The word "home" is memories and feelings. There's nostalgia associated with it. So, "home" is so much more than just a physical place, it's an emotional one, and it seems that as time goes by, the memories and feelings we have about it become warmer, softer and sweeter.
Usually when we think of home, we think of a place where we are safe and free to be ourselves and surrounded with people we love and that love us. There are memories of good times and maybe some not so good times. A sound or song or a smell might transport us to the home in our memories.
My father, with his advancing age, is afraid to leave his "home". I watched as my husband and his siblings divided and liquidated the "home" their parents left behind.
When my husband and his siblings were finished, it wasn't the house or the furniture in the house that they wanted most, it was the memories, and many of the memories were contained in simple boxes and envelopes full of pictures and letters.
Pictures and letters that chronicled simple and sweet memories of life at "home", of lives well lived and love and sorrow that is part of a family.
I have pictures of my house and the yard and the rooms and that is all nice but these things don't really excite me. All of that will be gone someday. I want to have pictures that will help preserve the memories that makes this place a home, pictures that will stir a forgotten memory. I want pictures that will bring a smile to my face and to the faces of those that see them. It's the details I want to capture. The little things that happened in this house and the people who were here, that is what I want to keep.
And I want to capture the details in unexpected ways. I don't want the pictures to look like I stood in a spot and took a picture. I want it to look as if there was a hidden camera. I love it when the pictures are being looked at and someone will say "when did you take that?" or "where were you when you took this? I didn't see you!" I like to see people in the pictures looking natural and relaxed. I want to see what they are doing as they are doing it. I am not opposed to gathering everyone together for a group picture because those are fantastic things to have especially when distant friends and relatives pay a visit.
So I keep my camera in a place where I can easily get it when something catches my eye. I will take pictures of things on the floor, things on the counter, things we eat, what we read and what we do. Inside and outside. If parts of the house get in the picture, great. If part of the fun gets in the picture, even better.
The little things, the sweet and simple things, that's what makes me smile. That's what makes home so special to me.
And hopefully, someday, someone will look at these pictures and smile too, smile and think of home.
What makes you smile at home? Share it with us in the flickr gallery, we'd love to see it!
"It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home." ~Author Unknown