People, Personal

SJT – Home (Missing Home)

The farmhouse where I grew up - Photo © 2009 by V. Nesdoly
The farmhouse where I grew up – Photo © 2009 by V. Nesdoly

Missing Home

I remember squeaks and slants
in the floor of our last home
can picture the gouge
in paneling beside my desk
the crumbing rubber
on the patio-door seal.
In the shed I see
rust-freckled freezer top
shelf of garden powders and poisons
boxes of canning jars
tangle of camping stuff
all familiar—like loved homes are—
as my own hands and feet.
So the other day
when I couldn’t remember
if there was a slanted ceiling
and a south window
in my childhood bedroom on the farm
I felt as if I had taken off my sock
and found I was missing a toe.

© 2012 by Violet Nesdoly (First published in Picking Flowers – a Fraser Valley Poets Society project.)


Top to bottom L-R: top two - Destroyed kitchen; 2nd row - We ate a lot of breakfasts and lunch on the balcony; The living room; Row 3 - Living room restored; Kitchen restored.
Top to bottom L-R: Row 1 – Destroyed kitchen; Row 2 – We ate a lot of breakfasts and lunches on the balcony; The gutted living room; Row 3 – Living room restored; Kitchen-dining area restored.

Thankful for Home

As you probably pick up from the poem above, I am a homebody. I love to travel but I love to come home more. I like a social outing but home is where I feel most comfortable, relaxed, and happy.

In the summer of 2014 we came home from holiday to a flooded house. All the main floor flooring of our townhouse had to be redone, along with much of the basement den. Witnessing the change of my cozy living room to a bare shell with a splintery chipboard floor, the devolution of my functional kitchen to cupboards stacked helter skelter in the middle of the room was almost physically painful for me.

And so my heart goes out to the refugees we see on the news, streaming across Europe—homeless because their homes have been bombed, their familiar towns and cities not safe to live in any more. I can only imagine how it must feel to have no home.

We eventually got our home back, better than ever. But since our flood I have stopped taking my home for granted. Often now when I sit in my cozy living room or work in my functional kitchen I marvel at how they were brought back and say, “Thank you, Lord!” And my prayer for refugees everywhere is that may they find homes again too.

This post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday, hosted by Holly Mueller at Reading, Teaching, Learning. Today the theme is THANKSGIVING FOR HOME.

Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday
Join us each week for Spiritual Journey Thursday


6 thoughts on “SJT – Home (Missing Home)”

  1. Violet, it was so interesting hearing your backstory that led to a new, comfortable space for living. Your poem created a visual journey for me but the photos enhanced the setting. This line stood out for me: all familiar—”like loved homes are—as my own hands and feet.” It is amazing how much we do remember about our childhood haunts. My town was devastated by Superstorm Sandy but the previous hurricane destroyed my beautiful living space on the basement level. My friend had a tree cave through her house so I understand the issues related to the destruction of what is important in our lives. We live through it but you are right. Refugees live in it. I am fundraising for the refugee village of Masese in Uganda where homes are nothing more than 4 walls in crowded space.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Carol, what a noble effort you’re involved in.

      It’s probably not an all-bad thing for us (for me at least) to have home rocked once in a while. Such an event reminds me of the temporary nature of my stay down here. It’s easy to get too attached. But still, I do love my creature comforts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how personal and detailed your poem is, but especially understand that missing toe. My home was flooded when I was in high school. Much of our town was under water, actually. It was a tragic time filled with the amazing goodness of people.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well….SO much to respond to here. First of all, your poem. Tears jumped into my eyes at the end!! I loved this image: rust-freckled. I noticed that all the things you remembered about your childhood home (what a beautiful photo) were its imperfections. We need to keep that in mind when we worry about dents, scratches, and wear and tear in our homes! And I love the photos of the transformation of your current house and your determination to not take it for granted. Most of all, I appreciate your tribute of love to the homeless. I didn’t think of that when I was writing about home, and you reminded me. Beautiful post!

    Liked by 1 person

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