Monday, January 26, 2015

For the Love Of...Home with Judy Bowman

Good Monday Everyone!

And welcome to another edition of For the Love Of...

Home is not always where you expect to find it and sometimes it's more than you expected it to be. Today, my good friend Judy Bowman describes in her beautifully expressive way her journey to finally finding home.


For the love of...

There are so many ways to finish that phrase and it is difficult for me to pick just one. So, when I mapped all of them out on a page, I discovered that my family, friends, the stars, the trees, the river in all seasons, sunrise and sunset, and my gardens and rocks are all elements of Home, that each plays a part in my sense of belonging. 
Family and friends.  My children are grown, and grandchildren fast growing through childhood. They consider my house home even though they’ve never lived here. Even Nick Ma who stayed with us for four months last year tells me he is coming home for Christmas while he studies in Canada. When my friend Cindy comes out for tea and a rave, she is family.  I feel  the house lean in, listen and laugh. It is probably our Mrs. Loggie, dead but not departed, eavesdropping and wondering, “what in the world are they talking about?” as Nick did when he was learning English. “Do you understand anything we say?” We’d ask. He shook his head, spread his arms and said,” Drama! Lots of Drama!”
The other element that contributes to my sense of place is the unique construction of this old story and a half.  George Loggie built this house over 100 years ago.  He must have been a short man.  Perhaps men of different heights helped him. Judging by the varying height of the doors, I estimate these carpenters to be  less than six feet tall and surely toddled around on tiny feet.  My son has to duck through the doors and half his foot hangs over each step.  He’s always tripping on the short, thirteen-step stairway.  There isn’t a right angle or level floor.  Depending on the room, the slant slides north, south, east and west.  Rule is:  don’t leave anything that can roll on a table.  If you do and it goes missing, look in the far corner.  Or, ask Mrs. Loggie to find it, as we do on a regular basis. She is reliable. That said, I am all slanted and crooked in many ways and not perfect but comfortable.
Until I moved into this house, the longest I had lived anywhere was six years.  My husband and I owned three homes during the course of our marriage but all in the same area of Waterloo so my children could stay in one school and keep the same friends. This was very important to me. My parents were gypsies, not Rom, but transient. Sometimes we moved several times a year. At final count, I changed schools 22 times.   My siblings and I were blessed that we could count on my grandparents to fetch us when health issues and other troubles caught up with my parents. And they did without fail. In foster care in Lachine Quebec, I used to dream of just crossing the street and I would be at my grandmother’s house.  That image sustained me when I was on the road with my parents heading to the next Promised Land. My grandmother’s house is still very much part of me.  I can smell the wood, the cellar, the air in June and see the moon path on the river. Because of those memories of home, I’ve tried to create a haven for grandchildren.
The legacy of my transient lifestyle is to be restless several times a year.  Since I wasn’t changing homes as often, I moved the furniture several times a year.  I still do.  My house and belongings are in an uproar of a mess but I actually feel comforted by this and as I sort and organize, I feel better.  Right now I am in the process of changing rooms and furniture and complaining about the mess, but as I am writing this, I see that this is a way of restructuring and renewing.  I should be good until September.  
When my husband and I moved here over twenty years ago, I had a difficult time settling in as I always did.  The culture, though Canadian, is very different. I mentally had my bags packed for at least 12 of those years because this was not my idea of home.
A wise woman said to me that home is a place we carry inside, not a place on a map.  I would say that is partially true, because where and how we live helps grow the sense of home within.  I credit my family, friends  and landscape to helping me root and grow here.  Every part of my life matters. 
It is in writing about the love of home that I realize that I am in that place. I love driving up the lane after work.  Every morning I run down to get my coffee and go back to bed and drink it as daylight comes. It is a sacred time for me. Now, in winter, I see the sunrise at the horizon. In summer I wait until it tops the leafy trees.  
In the summer, I plant a garden and hover like a new mother over the seedlings.  Just watching carrots grow is a lesson in patience because it takes months.  Being in the garden reminds me of a larger sense of belonging, that I have a small place on this earth and here for a long while yet, I hope. But who knows?  The main thing is I’m home now.


Thank-you to Judy for being a guest on For the Love Of...Judy is a very talented writer and poet who also has her own blog. Find Judy and her some of her writings at...

If you know someone who has a love they would like to share, or if you would like to share a story about something you love, please drop me a line at

Thanks for stopping by. On Monday, February 9th, my guest will be Morgan Lee, whom I've only met virtually, but I know she'll have a wonderful story to share with all of you.

Here's to whatever you love,


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