Home: it’s where the new rooms are



My friend and I both love to garden. She reads a lot of gardening magazines, and she’s really taught me a lot.

During these times, I’ve tried to stay home for health reasons, but I do see her about once a week. We mask up and head somewhere in Evansville for a walk together. I really look forward to our talks.

A few days ago, we decided to take a walk along a beautiful street near St. Benedict Cathedral. It was a lovely day with bright blue skies and falling leaves. I playfully told her that I would give her some pretend money and that she could pick out a house.

As we walked, we talked about our lives, and we studied the landscaping and architecture along the way. It was wonderful.

She chose a couple of houses, and I did too. Then she drove me back to my neighborhood.

As we pulled into my driveway, I said, “I don’t want any other house. This one is home.”

It’s true.

Forty-three years ago, on a pretty autumn weekend, my husband and I moved into our home. My brother, Dean, who is special needs, moved in with us. A few months later, our daughter Katie arrived, followed as quickly as he could by her brother, Michael.

It was here that I began to learn about the rhythms of life by watching my children as they grew and by experiencing the seasons in my garden.

Things have changed a lot this year. For me, there have been some interesting expansions inside my home.

Now, I have an area filled with books from friends and from the public library that I am planning to read. It gives me such a happy feeling when I see my own little lending library.

There is a sanitation area with soap, wipes and paper towels.

I am a struggling watercolor artist, trying to conquer the unconquerable. Now that I’m retired and in a pandemic, I have more time for it. I have taken a desktop and filled it with paints, brushes and paper for some daily scribbles. I call the area my art studio.

I found a free exercise site on the Internet, so I need a place in my home for workouts. Of course, I call it my gym.

Perhaps, most importantly, there is now a chapel area in my home. It’s just a corner of my couch, but it’s where I attend daily Mass on Facebook.

During Lent, I was talking to my husband, Steve, about how difficult it is to find a seat in church at Christmas and Easter. When I walked into our family room on Easter morning, I noticed something in my “chapel” area. He had made a sign that said “reserved.”

Love and laughter. Both are helping us get through these hard times.