Wherever I find myself

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself. ” – Maya Angelou

Growing up on a farm, when I wasn’t outside riding, playing or doing chores,  I was in the kitchen.   Looking back, I spent a lot of time in our farmhouse kitchen: cooking with Mom, reading the paper with Dad, playing cards with my siblings, ironing, folding and mending; I worked on 4-H projects, practiced public speaking,  studied for finals, debated politics and other news stories with friends and neighbors and, of course, talked on the phone. We had a wall-mounted phone with a cord that only went so far…and still does. Farm living meant a party line shared with Grandparents and another family nearby; we learned to listen for the distinct ring that belonged to us.. and for the breathing that meant more than 2 parties were in on your conversation!

Centrally located, the kitchen was, and still is, the heart of the home – bedrooms and bathroom in one direction, living and dining room in the other. It was never quiet in there, either. The countertop radio was the first appliance turned on and the last to be shut off at night.   Country music, farm reports, grain prices and weather updates peppered our conversations.

The kitchen was the place to stand up as straight as possible so Mom could hem a dress; with 5 kids, it was our makeshift “E.R.” – “stay still,” we’d hear, as liberal doses of iodine cleaned up most wounds.  It was – and still is – the place where visitors were greeted by a coffee pot perpetually “on” and home-baked goodness cooling on the counter.  Directly over the furnace, it was the warmest room in the house, and there were frequent scraps between my sibling and I over who had dibs on warming up over the floor register.

When the hubbs and I bought our Michigan house, it was not at all what we’d planned on. We’d had enjoyed a newly constructed house in Houston, and this was not only old, it was dated and needed lots of work.  It was dark and decorated in a 1970s colors – avocado and burnt orange.. ugh.  But something about it’s quiet dignity spoke to us; then, our boys were 14 and 8 and the multi level, multi-roomed house with lots of spaces was appealing.  The large yard, long neglected, held promise.  Slowly, old carpet was removed and replaced.  A fresh eggshell paint brightened the walnut-colored kitchen.  The dark countertop was replaced with a lighter color laminate and bulky overhead cabinets were jettisoned, letting sunlight stream in. Now, it’s my favorite room in this old house.  It’s there that you’ll find me: cooking, cleaning, folding laundry, helping with homework, playing board games, reading the paper, finishing projects, talking on the phone, chatting with neighbors and singing along to the radio.

Recently, a friend stopped over for the first time and paid us the most lovely compliment: “I just love your kitchen; it’s so cozy, like a farmhouse in here.” I smiled, poured her a cup of coffee, and we sat down for a long visit over a piece of warm cake.

What’s your favorite room? Does it bear any similarities to your childhood favorite?

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Faith, Family, Fashion, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Mom, music, News, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “Wherever I find myself

  1. I love to spend time in the kitchen too.
    even though I was born in a city at the other side of the world from you!!
    sounds funny 🙂

  2. Love this! Yes, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and my grounding place. There is a quote I love,

    “Home, in one form or another, is the great object of life.” Josiah G. Holland

    I take this to mean not just the physical home, but the home of the heart, and all the intangible pieces of life that say “home” to each of us.

    But a kitchen is a great place to start, and you’re fortunate that you grew up with a working home kitchen, and have been able to have that in your own life as well. Not everyone knows the magic of making a kitchen homey!


    • Mmm Sheila I love that quote. Lovely. You are so correct, the pieces of life that translate to “home” is different for all of us. For me, it’s the kitchen. It’s no wonder that’s where everyone always ends up .. it’s comfy, cozy, full of food and usually, music!

      Cheers MJ

  3. So you lived in Houston and I find you on wordpress? I love connections, even the most remote. The hub(b)s and I will be going to the farm this afternoon to check out the toll the drought has taken as another week goes by. Our kitchen opens up to the living/great room with a mahogany bar/counter/island in between. I’d like to replace it with stone…but not yet.
    I like cozy, too. Nice chatting.

    • Are you from Houston or somewhere near there? We lived there for 10 years; it was a great experience in many ways but we missed the seasons, our families, and the midwest. Your kitchen/view to other rooms sounds wonderful and inviting. Cheers! And thanks for visiting, MJ

  4. Sounds like you remodeled our house. Dark paneling, burnt orange shag carpeting and something was avocado, I’ve just blocked it out! But after the couple of weeks we’ve had, being home is what I need to rejuvenate and your post reminded me of that. We filled our kitchen last night with friends and good food.

    • I still don’t understand how those colours were ever popular!! I’m glad you’re tucked in safe and cozy at home. Cheers! MJ

  5. We have a very small room just off of the kitchen that is meant to be a bedroom. We use it for an office. It wasn’t until reading this post that I realized that the home I grew up in had a room just off the kitchen just like this one, and it was my bedroom. No wonder this room holds special significance to me!

  6. Funny how your description of a kitchen brought back such vivid memories of the one with which I grew up. Ours was too small for the six of us, yet it was the hub of the house as well. Unlike my family today, growing up, we ALWAYS had dinner at the table, together. My parents unwound after work at the kitchen table, talking, reading the paper. I did my homework at that table.

    Not surprisingly, the kitchen is still a favorite place in my house today. Must be something about kitchens…

    • We always had supper together, too, and for the most part, we still do. Sometimes we’re scattered but usually we’re together; my parents always sat at the table afterwards as well – reading the paper, talking, handling the chequebook etc. I seem to gravitate to kitchens and now I know why = to me they mean home.
      Thanks Terri ~ MJ

  7. Red Dirt Kelly

    Thanks for showing us a photo of your home. Hemming, coffee, farm reports…all a part of my culture as well. Peace, Kelly

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