Friday, August 10, 2012

There's No Place Like {This Bit of} Home: Emily's Work

I've been having a wonderful time getting to see inside some of my favorite bloggers' houses for the past several days!  You know, I'm thinking of making this a recurring link-up party: a theme based upon seeing a certain part of your home, a shared post -- what do you think?

Today, my sweet friend Emily of Keeping Time is letting us into her new home in Mississippi, though she's just barely moved in herself.  Give her a hearty welcome, guys!

"Okay, yes, and where are you employed?"

It's not an unreasonable question, but it surprises me every time.

"I'm, uh, a...a homemaker," I fumble, suddenly not knowing what to say. If the person asking is a man, he ignores my confusion. He just jots down my answer and moves on to the next question. If it's a woman sitting behind the desk though, she pauses.
"That's a job too," she nods, and whether she's a real estate agent or the representative from a power company or the person answering questions about my insurance plan, she chuckles and adds, "a really big job!"
"Well, I think so," I smile, grateful for her approval, "but it sure doesn't pay very well." Then I chuckle, too, and we're sated.

It's a pleasantry, of course, this script I run through with strangers, but lately I've been thinking: it's absolutely true. I AM a homemaker. I take spaces and make them into homes; it's a job, a really big job, and it's what I do.

In the past ten years my family has moved from Virginia to Texas to Florida to Maine to Italy to Japan to Mississippi, and I've set flowers on all those tables. I've been charmed by houses: bougainvillea spilling across a wooden gate, morning light on a hardwood floor, hawks swooping past the balcony where I've been standing, and I've been dazzled. But making a home isn't easy; it isn't always charming.

I've scrubbed away mold and dealt with infestations. I've stayed up all night with jet lagged, homesick children. I've unpacked boxes (and boxes and boxes) and found our treasures broken, and sometimes I think the force of my will is the only thing that's kept us stable.

But now, now we're in Mississippi, and the house is (almost) empty. We're starting again.

We're finding cobwebs and getting to know cardinals.

We're chasing each other across empty floors and letting our voices echo.

We're learning the perks of real convenience...

...and sleeping on air mattresses.

We're bending the space. We're wrapping it around us.

And there are flowers on the table.


  1. I've loved this series! And wanted to participate too, but just had way too much going on with going to BKK, my parents coming, T's parents leaving, going to SOLD, etc. Would love to do a post sometime though!

    Love that cobwebs shot, Em. I wish you luck and joy settling into your new home!

    1. Thanks, Jade! It's been a hard move (made harder by the fact that Chris isn't with us) but I'm hopeful it'll start to settle down soon!

  2. Flowers make everything lovelier. I've never much liked the term, homemaker, but you made me see it differently. It is a big, powerful, essential job to be home wherever home may be.

    1. I've never liked the term either (which is probably why I get so flustered) but you're right: it's big, powerful, essential work. A honestly, it's work I'm glad to do.


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?