Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Home is Where the Heart Is

"Home! The place where all man's best and happiest hours are passed. Where in our language shall we find a word of four letters that stirs the sweet pulses of life, like this of home--our home?"
--Sarah Josepha Hale (1868)
editor, Godey's Lady's Book
I was thinking about the movie Cheaper By The Dozen (the recent one). We had done the book (and its sequel, Belles on Their Toes) as read-alouds in the evening. We had also seen the original movie, with Clifton Webb.
When we saw the newer version, I had no expectations of it remotely resembling the original. It was a really "fun" movie, and of course it was done "over the top" as far as the comedic situations. (Frankly, I've never heard of anyone soaking pants in meat juice for a "gag," and if my children were so mean to each other....well, they just wouldn't be.)
When I look at the quote at the beginning of this entry, I can't find a trace of it anywhere in the newer movie. Is this, tho', what the Hollywood establishment sees as American Home Life?
It used to be that Home was where you came to get away from the world you were forced to enter, for your work- or school-day, or shopping or whatever. Now it seems that Home is just a place to drop one set of things, shower, dress, and be ready for the next foray into the world.
I read a really sad article one time about a family of five who, five days a week, left the house at 8am, scattered to their various duties, and came together about 10 pm for a quick bite to eat and a going-over of the next day's activities. Saturday was games or more lessons. Sunday was a free-for-all, everyone doing their own thing--mother shopping, etc. The parents believed that this was great training for the world in which their children would find themselves as grownups.
My dear husband often says that our home is his "haven" FROM the world. I have a lot to do to make it a "real" haven. We watch too much tv. We do too many "good" activities, as opposed to the "better" choices. I could do better nutritionally. I tend to want "Me Time" way too much. (it's important, but I take a LOT of Me Time.)
As I was thinking about this concept of Home as Haven, I wanted to encourage those women who are attempting to do this in a world where it is getting increasingly harder. Those of us who stay at home are facing higher prices in gasoline, food, and utilities. The pressing in of the world is getting harder to resist. It takes a lot to "never, never, never, never give up," as Churchill said. But the rewards are priceless, and, even if I never achieve the expectation I have set for myself (I'm sure it's way-unachievable by any human), I can reach toward that goal. The Bible says we should "not be weary in well-doing," for we will reap the reward. My reward is a family who has found a "haven" from the world.
graphic courtesy of Lise's Garden Graphics

4 comments :

Mrs. Linebarger said...

I've been enjoying your blog. This post was wonderful! Thanks for linking to my blog in your sidebar!! I'm working on getting something similar over at my xanga blog, but I'm a bit techno-challenged so it's taking me awhile!

G.L.H. said...

Thank you, Mrs. Linebarger--I check in with your blog everyday!

I think we are "sisters under the skin!"

Mrs. Linebarger said...

I knew I knew where your blog was!!!!! I just didn't know I knew ;-) How about doing just a single, solitary entry on your xanga site with a link to this one so folks can find you from the comments you leave on xanga blogs!!

plainandsimple said...

Thank you for directing me to this post. It really "spoke" to me. You are so right about so many things. To pull in some pin money I do a little private tuition in my home (I'm an ex-high school teacher) and many of the children I teach rarely spend time in their homes with their families. It's such a shame that the home has become devalued. People need a "haven" from the outside world, especially in these difficult times.