home away from home

(Originally posted on Curbly.com on 2007.01.14)

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We just arrived home from a week in Park City, Utah.  I got to thinking about being away from home and away from our house.  Witold Rybczynski in his book Home: A Short History of an Idea talks about ‘comfort
relative to the idea of home.  Over a week ago I was packing and
getting ready to leave our home in PA for our one-week temporary home
in UT.  I made a mental list of the things that I brought with us in
order to make our stay more comfortable.

  • candles: my sense
    of smell is ultra-sensitive.  I bring small tea lights in similar
    scents to what I use in PA.  They say that ones sense of smell evokes
    some of the strongest memories.
  • tea:  here again, having my favorite decaf green tea is another familiar comfort.
  • a fleece throw:  is comfort all by itself, but this is one we keep on our couch at home.  Both the smell and sight of it makes me smile.

Whatever the physical object may be, more interesting to me is the built-in tendancy we as humans have to nest, be comfortable and make a place home wherever home might be that week.  I think of the thousands of people
on the Gulf Coast that were and are still displaced from home and wonder how they are making their current digs comfy.

Think about: What makes your house a home to you?  How do you bring
home with you when you travel?  If you have ever been displaced, what
little or big thing (tangible or intangible) brought comfort to you and made you feel at home?

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