Home Is Where Your Blanket Is (Part Two)

GiraffesA dear friend just reminded me, “All of our homes are just temporary shelters, no matter how big our mortgage. Some of us just get to borrow ours a little longer than others.” Life in general is full of transitions. Since our life seems to have a few more than the average, it’s a good thing my blankets are easily packed, as are a lot of my other decorations (minus the giraffes!) that help turn a house into a home.

While I have mentioned to Bear once or twice that my fabulous couches are going with us wherever we might end up, my goal this year is to collect items I can take on our many journeys without the aid of a shipping container. Light weight items like the beautiful wood signs with quirky sayings and gorgeous artwork I am now collecting or my plain navy blue linen curtains that I love.

PicturesMy pillow covers are fun African fabrics. I’m  working on a bright green, blue and orange table runner that I’ve pieced together from scraps of fabric left over from other projects. A train quilt decorates Little Bear’s wall. Across from it hang canvas animals on wooden frames from Amani Ya Juu. Pictures of family and friends line our walls held up by tiny, little clothes pins.

Wedding QuiltAll these things, while just things, are important. Best of all, they can be packed in a suitcase! Thank you to everyone who helped make us feel at home. Thanks for the extra donation that allowed us to re-cover our well-loved couches. Thanks for the beautiful wedding quilt. Thanks for the gift of teaching me to sew. Thanks for sending us back with beautiful, hand-painted wooden signs. Most of all thanks for the memories that can be printed out in pictures!

Home Is Where Your Blanket Is (Part One)

For us… most of the time anyway, Facebook is a beautiful way to keep up with far away friends.

But. Not. Today.

Today Facebook showed me the house I don’t have. The house I long for every time we discuss moving apartments or going on home assignment or changing countries.

My friend innocently posted pictures of her stunning new house complete with the quaint, white shutters she picked out herself. The kitchen is big and spacious. The fridge dwarfs mine several times over. All the appliances are shiny and new. I’m sure her kitchen sink turns on easily without a constant drip, drip, drip.

There is a fireplace! And a gorgeous mirror hung on what I am sure is a non-concrete wall that she is allowed to put holes in without contacting the landlady who lives in Nigeria because guess what? She OWNS the house.

(Friend, if you’re reading this, because you will no doubt know it is you that I am speaking of, you did absolutely nothing wrong and I can’t wait to visit you in your new home.)

The American dream right? My dream. The dream of knowing I will still be living in the same place, the same house next year because we have a mortgage of all things.

I’d pay to have the stab-you-in-the-tush toilet seat replaced because it’s MY toilet seat. I would nag politely ask my husband to fix the leaky faucet and the doors that stick. I would take out that ridiculous bidet because who actually uses those anyway?! I wouldn’t try to hang pictures with Velcro and heavy duty Command Brand hooks. I’d do all those things because we would OWN the house (at least sort of own it, you know, through the generosity of the bank and all).

Plus I’d actually have a piece of grass that doesn’t belong to the retreat center next door that I can only longingly look at through our kitchen window while wedding guests dance to obnoxiously loud music and wake up my sleeping baby.

I realize most of you probably don’t dream about having a mortgage and those of you with more sense might even try to tell me the evils of having one. But for now I’m lost in wishful thinking that one day after I spend all the time to decorate and make our house our home, I won’t have to give it up in a year. It’s just something I have to work through, knowing that our lease ends in March of next year and since I tend to round up, this year is basically over, which means March is really only 3 months away.


Some of my many blankets, given by friends and shipped from the US in my luggage.

If, as the Zambian proverb claims, “Home is where your blanket is,” then it’s a good thing my blankets don’t weigh very much and can travel from the US to Kenya to South Sudan and back again.

Check out “Home is where your blanket is part two.”