Travel Notes: A Home and Postscript

I went back for a visit to our house in Auckland yesterday. The last time I glanced back thru the front door, the beautiful dark kauri would floors wished me well. It was the sort of house that spoke to was happy to share it's love. I looked for the familiar greeting as I opened the door yesterday and I could see it has moved on. It is filled with toys and laughter and I was happy for that.
I sat on the front porch while others milled about, sizing it up, thinking if it would work for them.  We are renting the house and someone is interested in buying it. In and out, people fluttering all around. I sat in my favourite spot on the front porch looking at this urn. I love this urn, I love the garden we designed around it. 
All the while, they continued passing around me and I sat there thinking that they are missing the point. If you love a house you can make it work. The house is 100 years will not give you the conveniences of a brand new house. It will give you it's history, it will give you it's charm, it will provide a safe haven for your family and treasure those memories as much as you do.  

Home, you say, when day is done,
Home to comfort and peace and rest;
Home, where the children romp and run-
There is the place that you love the best!
Yet what would the home be like if you
Had all of its endless tasks to do?

Would it be home if she were not there,
Brave and gentle and fond and true?
Could you so fragrant a meal prepare?
Could you numberless duties do?
What were the home that you love so much,
Lacking her presence and gracious touch?

She is the spirit of all that's fair;
She is the home that you think you build;
She is the beauty that you dream of there;
She is the laughter with which it's filled-
She, with her love and her gentle smile,
Is all that maketh the home worth while.

Edgar A. Guest

Such thoughtful comments one and all! Much appreciated and I have to smile at Jackie's question about staying in my homeland. This is a common problem when you set up home in new places. After a few years, it is home and then you remember that you felt the same about the country before that and then you stop and wonder where home is! All great memories and for that I am very thankful. Our house in New Zealand will one day have a great family living in it who will add their own special touches to call it home. We are off to England soon and I look forward to that. The kids have said they are ready to go home. Mission accomplished :) 
Next week bagpipes...I can't wait to photograph men in skirts!!!



  1. Oh Jeanne, something inside me did a flip as I read your words about sitting quietly on the porch while others size up your beloved home.
    I know you'll be wise enough to cherish what you have enjoyed there, and be happy to think that it's someone else's turn now.
    thinking of you

  2. Thanks Sharon, it made for a very long day but as always, writing this post made me feel better. It helped to put it all into perspective. Many thanks for your comment :)

  3. I can relate to your beautiful description of what living in an old house provides; my own house was built in 1720. I am, and always will be, a lover of traditional architecture...There is always a sense of melancholy when one leaves a well-loved house, but the task is being able to move on and look fondly back on all your happy memories.

    And the poem was a delight, Jeanne, thank you for sharing it. Wishing you well :)

  4. I can't imagine sitting by and not popping up to point out all it's good points - and then consider not saying anything at all in the hopes that they pass it over and it would stay all mine! I hope all ends in the way that is best for you!

  5. What a lovely post! I enjoyed every bit of it. I can sense your wonder, pride and warmth as you share with us about your home. And the urn -- it stands tall and lofty, reminding me of the Grecian urn Keats talks about.

    I am glad you went there and chose to share the experience with us.

    I enjoyed reading the poem as well.

    I wish you a wonderful remainder of the week dear Jeanne.

    Joy always,

  6. Hi Jeanne - lovely heart-touching post. I am so attached to buildings that we have lived in - I think I would heart-broken to sell. But of course when you do, I am sure that as you say the house 'moves on'. Lovely poem. Lou x

  7. Jeanne this post speaks to my heart. These houses have souls and and once revealed they can be ever so generous. Sometimes it's the idiosyncrasies and irregularities that become our most treasured parts. I'm afraid all some people see is real estate. Your house will find that next perfect owner and hopefully they'll enjoy a special connection like your own. ~Susan

  8. Jeanne~ Your words always touch me so. Your love of home and family is just so special. Change can be so difficult~ take lots of pictures and remember every scent-those are the things that sweet dreams are made of.

  9. I adore old houses. Our last house was built in 1650 and it is so hard to imagine how the people lived way back then. Our house that we now live in and have lived in for 24 years is late Victorian, built in 1895. I'm sure that something from the past seeps into the very walls of the building and give the house so much character and feeling
    You sound very wistful, Jeanne. Are you coming back to England? It sounds as if you lomg to be permanently back in your home country. XXXX

  10. Jeanne - I had butterflies in my stomach reading this! I can just imagine you waiting outside the front door and not quite knowing how you would feel when you went back inside 'your' always feels strange when you move and then return to see someone else has filled your space with their things and personality....hope it hasn't made you too unsettled and you will feel 'at home' when you return over here soon...looking forward to hearing about Scotland...x

  11. I don't think I could do it. My house is like a member of the family. We've been here so long, adding on and renovating as needed. I should think this was a strange experience for you indeed!

    I cannot wait for Scotland. My favourite place on the planet. Is there anything better than a man in a kilt??

  12. kids tell me that home is me, and I describe home as my husband.
    A dear friend looked at my kitchen recently and commented "I have to learn to live in my home the way you do".
    It's not a location...but you know that already.
    It's a familiarity, something that can happen in a heartbeat.
    Home is you...and you are home.

  13. I'm so speechless after reading your post. Great reading here. :)

    new houses for sale


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