Ten Things I Love About…

After nearly two months of travel, I’m home, and in some ways, I’m having an “It’s a Wonderful Life” experience. I am so happy to be back in my funky little farmhouse, it feels like on one level, I’m back in my life because of where I am. Ten things I love about being home:

counter culture1) My pets are with me. They have an emotional impact on me that’s hard to describe. I need them for grounding is the best way I can put it.

2) I can raid the yard for flowers whenever I please. This week’s special is hydrangeas.

3) I can wear summer writing clothes (nightie and flip flops) ALL DAY LONG.

hydreangeas4) I can work on my books ALL DAY LONG (some days).

5) Nobody eats my Ghiradelli dark chocolate squares when I’m not looking.

6) Nobody comes trundling around at 1 am and says, “Are you still up?”

7) I can pop into town and meet friends for brekkie, lunch or dinner–or all three if I feel like it.

ghiradelli dark choc8) When I walk outside in my bare feet, I’m in cool, green grass right off my porch–and nobody has to water the lawn, ever.

9) I get to sleep in my own bed (with my personal sleeping kitty, Chloe Upstairs).

10) There are no lines to park between in my driveway, and no neighbor will come around asking if I know who owns that truck with the Maryland tags (seriously).

moonriseI could go on and on… The wild raspberries, the peace and quiet, the full moon rising over the ridge behind the house, the yard-visit with the neighbors when I take Sarge for a walk after dinner, the deer browsing the edges of the hay fields, the sound of the breeze swaying through the maples as night falls…

I love not only my life, but my life in this place.

What do you love about where you live? What do you think you’d miss most if you had to leave it?

To one commenter, I’ll send an audio version of “The Bridegroom Wore Plaid.”


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41 comments on “Ten Things I Love About…

  1. The first thing that popped into my head is my parents. That is also the most honest answer for both questions. I am so glad that all those years ago my soon to be husband decided to move out here instead of me moving out to PA. I was ready and willing to do it because I felt like I should live away from them, but the Lord, of course, knew better and kept me here in the city I’ve lived in my whole life. I honestly could not have made it through that first year of the twin’s being diagnosed with autism if my parents hadn’t been here to go to doctors appointments with me and watch my newborn son so I could do that as well as all the other appointments we had. I would have had a complete mental meltdown or who knows what else.
    I honestly don’t know what else I would miss about living here,

    • I missed my friends badly in San Diego, missed knowing I could spend time with them if I wanted to. The same aspects of my life that made it “easy” for me to pick up go for an extended visit (no spouse, self-employed, no minor children), also meant I had no support network while there.
      Given the demands on you as a parent, extended family support would seem mandatory to any place you called, “home.”

  2. I love being in the same town as my mother, children and grandchildren, and I’d miss them most if I had to leave.

    • When I spent a few months in Germany, I was struck by how common your pattern is there–nearly EVERYBODY had family close by. Maybe this is the legacy of WWII, which decimated a certain cohort of the German male population in particular and left much social structure in the hands of the grossmutters, or maybe it’s what happens when space is limited.
      We choose to hang with family and they choose to hang with us.

  3. I have lived here all my life. My family and friends are here and I have never thought of living anywhere else. I love living on the Mississippi Sound. I couldn’t imagine not being able to go drive down the beach or go out to the barrier islands and swim. This is where my heart is and here I will stay.

  4. I love travelling in other countries and always enjoy the experience of meeting charming people and new places but I enjoy coming back home where it is quiet and peaceful. I do find the big cities very stressful! I love audio story! Thank you Grace!

    • Nicole, your photos of Scotland have been marvelous! My Scottish family came to the US by way of Canada, and I’m thinking you’ll find much in Scotland to remind you of home.

      I’ve listened to other people’s audio books (in particular, Richard Armitage’s versions of three Georgette Heyers), but it’s really something to hear your own book interpreted by a gifted voice actor.

  5. Living in my grandmother’s house, I get a special kind of security-hug every time I walk in the back door. Even though she is in the nursing home, and I go see her there, I see her here. At the stove, in the flowers and in her chair. I love that I get to reinforce those memories of her, instead of the way she is now. I would miss that.

    • Tracey, I think spaces do that for us. They soften time, soften losses, if we allow them to, like a three dimensional photo.

      And grandma probably sleeps better knowing her beloved house is still home for somebody she also loves.

  6. Like the quiet and familiar clutter in my home. Taking my bra and my shoes off. Sitting on my usual corner of the sofa perch with my laptop looking out the window to see what’s up in my little neighborhood.

    • That sense of not needing social or fashionable armor in the home is luscious. When somebody comes to the door, I don’t care if he’s bearing flowers AND good chocolate, a little bit of me wants to pretend I’m not home.

  7. I love that I can walk to nearly everything, the library, the spice shop, the movie theater, the farmer’s market, a couple restaurants where I can eat despite my allergies. While I have that convenience it is still quiet enough for the breeze ruffled tree leaves and bird chirps to be a dominant sound. My flowers lining my balcony, their explosion of color and scent. Plus the blooms lure flitty things to entertain my two young cats, who are absolutely make up part of my center and grounding. Love that my home is situated to glow with light all day and stay cool. Early morning coffee or tea on the umbrella screened balcony in my jammies and sometimes staying in my pjs all day is also a simple pleasure…the luxury of solitude and having the sanctuary of my very own locking front door. If I’m not expecting someone I don’t answer my front door either. Love that I have just enough space to entertain friends, including stay-overs, so that my social life can come to me, saving energy to spend with friends rather than in getting to somewhere.
    If I could house a horse in my garage I would have everything conceivable to blend a home I can manage and the home/lifestyle I grew up with – horse property.

  8. I have many lovely delights and freedoms in my home, but I’m going to answer the second question: what would I miss if I had to move. My landlord’s smile. He doesn’t live in my home, physically, but his aura is everywhere since he used to live here but moved out because his wife wanted a bigger home, and he uses the garage so we see him a lot. This guy could be a hero in any romance. He is of Greek descent with dark skin and hair, and has one of the brightest and beautifully honest smiles I’ve ever seen. Plus he’s damaged: broke his neck 5 months before we met him. Because of the cap he kept on his shaved head (surgery) I initially thought he was a hoody drug addict crazy guy, because he was so secretive in his body movements. Turned out it was his fused neck bones that made the strange neck non-movements. He’s a stoic masculine mechanically minded type, but once revealed he has to relearn how to move the muscles of his body every morning… and has intense nerve pain throughout one side of his body. Still he smiles that glorious smile. He has a heroine-look-alike wife, so if I use my imagination I kind of have my own romance novel walking around the place. How lucky am I and wow am I going to miss him when we eventually move on.

  9. I was in Florida for a few months and, although it is lovely with the swaying Palms and the tropical breezes, it was not home. Home is in the Hudson Valley of NY, where everything is a glorious green. Where squirrels scamper up the towering Maples and Oaks in my yard and summer means hot days and cool nights for hand holding walks. It’s good to be home where someone once said the heart is.

    What would I miss the most when I have to leave it? Surprisingly not those things I mentioned. What I miss the most is family and friends.

    • A lot of horse people “commute” down to Florida during the colder months, then snowbird back north when Florida gets too hot. I don’t think the human body was meant to do that. I think we were meant to adjust to a climate, and to all the glories and challenges of it… and yet, the Hudson Valley does a version of winter that anybody would need a break from most years.

  10. I love living out in our 100 acres of Canadian woods and being able to work from home now! So much more relaxing than commuting everyday, and it allows me to spend more time with my family.

    Grace, I applaud your good taste about the Heyers read by Richard Armitage! I was lucky enough to meet him at the train station in Toronto when he was promoting the first installment of The Hobbit, and he is as lovely in person as he sounds in his readings!!!

      • Nothing wrong with dwarves! When I met him, he asked how tall I was (I’m vertically challenged at 5’1″), and I said I was Thorin-size, and he said Thorin’s 5’2″, so I have been informed by the King under the Mountain that I am only Dwalin-size. Very kind and charming to all.

  11. I live in the most beautiful place on earth — The Willamette Valley of Oregon. I’ve traveled some but I always miss my green, my evergreen trees, mountains, ocean just an hour away and yes even the rain. We are having the most glorious spring and summer this year BUT it’s a drought for us and we are over 15 inches behind in our rain year. My webbed feet are drying out, lol. But seriously I can tell we’ve been without. So far we are OK but the forest fires are going to be awful this hear if we get lightening.

    PS give the audio to someone else. I won the book from DANL and it was delightful!!

    • Glitter, my daughter spent three years in Seattle and loved that northwest moderate, moist, misty stuff. I’ll take your name out of the running for the audio, but I’m tellin’ ya, the narrator is the same guy who does Monica McCarty’s books, and he reads a far more interesting book than I wrote. He’s amazing.

      • Awesome Grace. Isn’t it fun to see one of your creations take on a whole new life in someone elses hands (or voice in this case). I think the only way I’d be interested in an audio book would be if it was read by a man. I just don’t see a woman doing a Scot’s mans voice justice, lol.

        My Oregon finally got some rain. Unfortunately it started yesterday on my husband and son’s golf game. It came down in buckets for 4 holes…They were very wet. Today is kinda drizzly and I don’t mind at all. I figure God made us waterproof, lol. I just don’t care for water spots on my glasses, sigh.

  12. Welcome home. I am actually in a hotel far from home tonight. I am sharing the room with a fellow teacher for a conference. The things I am missing tonight are (in no particular order and some are meant to be humorous): setting the air conditioner at the temperature most comfortable to me, my cats meowing at 4:30 am for more food, decent phone service, a hug from a family member and a mocha frappe. But I do have some books with me so all is well.

  13. Wow, kittehs, dark chocolate, staying up late and hydrangeas. Are you sure we weren’t sisters in a previous life?
    While a lot of my family has passed (I was the youngest by quite a bit), our chosen family, our friends, are here and my dear in-laws. We often joke about what we would do if we won a big lottery and while we enjoy traveling, our Indiana town is home. I’m surrounded by our cats, our books and my craft supplies. A bigger, newer house would be nice, but we bought this place right after we got married, 25 years ago. The little locust tree is a big locust tree now and we have two cats buried out back by the burning bush. I love the glass door knobs (house was built in the 1930s), that it is located less than fifteen minutes from both of our workplaces and that hubby has built several book cases in the living and dining room. We have Mom’s china cabinet and the old dining room table and chairs. It is home. Thanks–I’d love to try an audio book!

    • I’ve been here for about 25 years, too, Julee, and man, they went back lickety-split. The child rearing years tend to do that, but having been in the same house for the duration was a way to stay focused. Now I wish I had the money to take better care of the old place… and solarize it, of course.

  14. I too love the fact that I am still in the same area and most of my relatives are still nearby. I was always sad that my husband’s parents lived in two separate states, both far away. And I could never move – my strays and ferals live here!!

  15. The one thing I love the most about where I live is my garden!

    No question about it.

    I started gardening 5 years ago. My dream was to have a rose garden. Gardening is something that has been in my family – my grandmother was an amazing woman and she loved plants! My mom likes it too but she is the kind of person that you don’t really touch plants because the heat of your hand can kill the plants… so I could never touch the roses we had in Brazil… so my dream was to have a garden that I could TOUCH and enjoy it. I am happy to say I have it… I have a blog for my garden! I love roses… but I love almost all flowers… love to plant herbs…and lillies… and daisies… and hostas… and the list goes on… so enjoy eating my own tomatoes… can’t wait for them!

    (Grace I so enjoyed the bouquets Nick sent Leah!!!) I was walking in my gardening and looking at the Blue Salvias and thinking of you and their stories.

    Its hard work. I have to compete with japanese beatles, deer, rabbits, voles, moles, groundhogs, etc… its a jungle out there. And they are vicious creatures…

    If I have to move the one thing I will really miss would be my garden… so much work and love! But I think if I could move to somewhere where I could plant another garden maybe it would be ok!

    I am an avid reader but I haven’t “heard” a book yet… I love the convenience of ebooks… I have a nook and love it!!!! but I am such a book person also,,, nothing like a book in your hands… and in my case also reading glasses!

    • Every year, I try to add one more flower project to this property. It’s amazing how large 2 acres becomes when viewed that way. This year will have to be bulbs because I spent the spring traveling, but you can NEVER have too many bulbs.

      The one reference I keep within two feet of my computer is a little Running Press Miniature Edition of “The Language of Flowers.”

  16. I now live in Pittsburgh but Michigan is where my heart is. I am hoping to get back there someday but, in the meantime, I’m enjoying my little townhouse in an historic co-op, working in a world class public library as a reference librarian, and enjoying reading historical romance novels, a new genre for me.

    • Maria, you MUST read Joanna Bourne! At a national conference, I ended up at lunch with a table of librarians, and they could not stop gushing about Jo’s books. Pick up “The Spymaster’s Lady” and you will be recommending it all over Pittsburgh, promise.

  17. It is summer and this is Phoenix. If I could keep my pets (2dogs, 2cats)I would only miss my favorite chair… So strap my chair to the top of my car and I’m outta here! Then I would maybe be a “snow bird” which would prevent me from missing my friends.

    • Sue,if I were to end up in Arizona, I think Flagstaff would be my destination. The desert that appeals to me is high desert, and I love to fall asleep hearing the train whistles mourn across the night air. Snow in April is kinda keen too, and I’m sure I get to know the Grand Canyon better too.

      But Phoenix…? Erm, not so much.

      • Grace, We spent a few days in Flagstaff with the boys a couple years ago and they loved the trains. They could have stayed in the breakfast room at the hotel and watched the trains go by all day. We also road the Grand Canyon Railway and they LOVED that too. One of the twins has always said he wants to be a train engineer and he hasn’t stopped saying it since the age of 3.
        At RT this year I could hear the trains at night and it was very nice.

    • Sue I am in Mesa and have lived here my whole life. I completely agree with you, but I as I stated up above it’s my parents and all their support that keep me here. Although they say the same thing about me. They would move in a heartbeat if they knew I didn’t need them anymore. My dad moved here in ’49 at the age of 3 months. My mom has been here since ’62.

  18. I just returned home from a road trip to Georgia and back home to Minnesota. After the heat and humidity of Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Missouri, I am please to be back at home on the lake in northern Minn.