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Home is where…?

So I’m back… home?

I moved house twice last year. First from a three-bed terraced house with its microscopic garden:

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Then from my gorgeous garden apartment in the old house (some of it dating from 1792) with the amazing garden:

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To tell the complete truth, I was evicted! The elderly lady who owned the house died and the legatees wanted vacant possession so they could sell. So I and my fellow residents were ousted. Each of us, I’m glad to say, found somewhere else to go. But I can’t say where I am now feels like home – and my three-week trip to Scotland has raised questions for me about ‘home’.

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I always used to say I was like a Snail, carrying my sense of home with me, able to make ‘home’ wherever I landed. Which is just as well, when one considers that the move to the current place is my 22nd move!

Suffolk is very beautiful. Scotland, as this blog has demonstrated, is also very beautiful in a different way. Both have offered me places to live and grow and I am grateful to both.

There’s an old song: ‘This world is not my home, I’m just a-passing through.’ And that’s true. Home will always be temporary on this earth.  But for those of us who have entrusted our lives and our eternal futures to Jesus Christ, there’s a security in knowing that ‘home’ is sorted now and in the future – short-, medium-, and long-term!





Getting Ready

I have rearranged my study. I have sorted out the books on the shelves that face me when I’m at work at my desk and I’ve packed away the non-writing books, replacing them with relevant writing books and book files.

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Books packed away

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Research and admin folders

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Books to inspire!

And I’m beginning to feel better – ready to get down to work again on the novel.

I popped out to the supermarket to stock up on food and met my next-door neighbour as I was going in. I had come home from a meeting on Tuesday afternoon to discover that she had cut her own front lawn and then cut mine. She is slightly over eight months pregnant. Her last child weighed in on arrival at 10 lbs and she reckons this one will compete – so cutting grass astounded me. Just as well I was out! I’m sure I’d have scolded and protested!

She wouldn’t accept a lift home from the supermarket either. Walking, she said, would do her good. She preferred to be doing things. She was ready for the birth, she said. It’s time this one arrived.

And as I sort my study and lug heavy boxes of books into the storeroom, I recognise myself in my pregnant neighbour. I’m getting ready for the labour of getting Book 2 of the Mizpah Ring birthed and into the world. And like my neighbour, I’m impatient. Because it’s time!

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Day Ten: Going home

Home! After a 365 mile solo drive (if you don’t count Jesus) from the borders of Scotland down through England to Cambridge, then a sharp left turn till you almost hit the far eastern coast. Home. Whew.

And glad.

Sometimes, to paraphrase T.S.Eliot, it is necessary to take a wander back through the past and check it out and discover what it means now. And then look at where you are now and discover just how good it is – and recognise it for what it is: in my case, that where I am now is home.

Home means lots of different things to different people. I have a nomadic streak and I love new places and overnight billets – lovely hotels in locations like at Annandale Water. Waking up to beauty fills me with delight.

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View from my balcony at Annandale Water this morning

But home: that is something deeper, richer. Long ago, I put my roots down in the rich soil of Somerset, letting them go down deep – which made the pulling up when my husband died in 1994 and I had to move the more painful. I haven’t had the courage to ‘settle’ properly anywhere since then.

But driving into Westmoreland this morning, past the sign that said ‘Welcome to England’, I realised I have lived in England for 38 years. More than half my life. More than anywhere else. England is home, and Suffolk, and the town where I live, and the street, and the little house on that street with my cat waiting for me and the friend who was feeding her for me, and my church this evening, and … This all constitutes home.

And I’m glad. And grateful. And it’s time to let my little roots unfurl and go down into the welcoming soil of Suffolk. And, to mix the metaphor, it’s time for some nesting – nice things for the house to make it more ‘home’. Nice things for the garden… maybe some herbs… salads, tomatoes… food!

Home. Welcome home. At last.

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