musings about food, travel, creativity and life

Home, Sweet Home

Last week, we and thousands of other Californians were asked to evacuate our home because of approaching fires. We found safe shelter and then experienced five days of disbelief, disorientation, wondering, hoping. And then we got the word that we could return home. How lucky and relieved we felt.

Home. What a lovely word. What a cherished place.

For months, we’ve been seeing signs saying “Thank you, heroes” referring to the pandemic health and essential workers. Now we read those signs for all the firefighters, sheriffs, and community members who are fighting the fires and keeping neighborhoods safe. Yes, thank you.

And thank you friends and family for your calls and messages of love and concern from near and far, and for the offers of your home for shelter. Such blessings.

Now, as we start up our lives at home again, how divine it feels. John is watering the plants and picking ripe tomatoes. I am making my morning coffees and writing in my journal. We are talking to neighbors as we look across the fences or take our evening walks in the slowly clearing air. And we are spending time in our kitchen—making fresh yogurt and plum ice cream from the last of our tree’s plums.

We are unpacking slowly, cautiously, looking at everything differently. We are regrouping, rethinking, reorganizing. Values clarification big time. And through it all, we are filled with gratitude.

At bedtime, we pull up the blanket with our doggie’s image on it and read comfort books. Mine—surprise!–are two cookbooks about Italy, with short, simple introductions and enticing recipes and photographs. That’s about right for my current psyche. Comfort reading about comfort food.

One book —Pasta Grannies by Vicky Bennison—is a heart warming profiling of Italian grandmothers—nonne—who are the keepers of the pasta tradition. It has many recipes I look forward to trying and reminds me of all the times I helped my mom and nonna make ravioli. I think making some ravioli is in my near future.

The other is A Table in Venice by Skye McAlpine, a Venetian resident, that presents recipes from my father’s home territory, some familiar to me, others to be explored—like spinach with pine nuts and raisins, deep-fried sage leaves, and of course, three variations on the quintessential Venetian Prosecco aperitivo, Lo Spritz

So there you have it. “Bring Joy to the Table” this time ‘round is all about the joy of having and being at home; about love, comfort, nurturing, and gratefulness. Mamma mia. How fortunate we feel.

18 thoughts on “Home, Sweet Home”

  • Dorothy was so right….”THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME”
    So happy you are back in your beautiful little sanctuary and that it is safe & sound….you guys too of course.
    We will continue to send rainy thoughts to California along with love and hugs.

  • Glad you guys are back “home!” How grateful you must be to be out of harm’s way now. Of course there’s a myriad of other problems to solve, or wait out. Where did you end up going? Our area has been surrounded by fires, but we haven’t been in danger – we did some thinking about where to go, what direction and prepping for travel. Our recent pasta dish, Taiwan Beef Noodle Soup, was prepared by my son’s partner for us on Wednesday. My daughter’s family with my grandkids and dog were visiting from Bellevue, WA on a perfect night with no smoke and mild temperatures. Grato!

    • So great to hear from you and to hear of your nice family visits. So fortunate during “these times.”
      As for where we went, we stayed at a motel in Carmel and then at a friend’s home in Pacific Grove. We felt very grateful.
      And now to be home–ahhh. Take good care up there. I hope all will be safe for you.💙

  • Dearest Lynn,
    You do not know how happy I am to read this post! I have been so worried about you and John and the puppy, and of your beautiful home. When I didn’t receive a response from my email to you last week (understandably), I told myself that if I didn’t see a post on your blog today that I was going to give you a call. You all have been in my heart since I heard your area was in danger.
    Home mus mean so much more to you now, and I hope you give yourself lots of time and self nurturing as you come back from this life-changing experience.
    I am sending you both all my love and lots and lots of hugs. My heart is spilling over with tears of joy to hear from you.
    May you live in gratitude for all you have.

    • Wow, Peggy. I didn’t get an e-mail from you–I just checked again. But hearing from you here and now makes my heart so happy.
      We are taking our time with “it all.” Nice deep breaths in and out. Appreciating our home, life, love in all its forms. Hoping for the best for the rest of the fire area folks and for our country and all it is going through. Sending lots of love to you and the family. Stay safe, stay well.❤️

  • Oh Lynn I was unaware that you had to evacuate! How scary. So glad you are back home. It sounds perfect and especially with clearing skies
    Miss you three
    Love Diana

    • Thanks, Diana. It is wonderful to be home!! We still hope to see you at some point, but for now, being here is where we’ll be. I hope you are safe and well and that your area isn’t too smokey! Sending love💛

  • How scary, Lynn! Did you have a go-bag ready? Where did you shelter?

    Owen and I packed ours last weekend, but so far we haven’t been asked to evacuate. We were planning to go to friends in San Ramon. Now I have taken things out — hairbrush, passport I needed to apply for something, etc.

    I’m so glad you’re back in your beautiful home, enjoying the view and your doggie.

    • Thanks, Dianne. It is such a relief to be back home. It’ll take a while to feel “settled.” It was all scary and disorienting.
      We packed our bags a few days before the official evacuation order and then stayed in a motel in Carmel and then at a friend’s in Pacific Grove. We haven’t really unpacked everything yet. I have made my list, though, of everything we took so that I can refer to it should we need to again (pray, no!). And as you can imagine, this brings what is important into sharp focus. I wish you and Owen the best and hope you will not be in danger. Good that are have a plan, though. Much love and safe thoughts for you both.❤️

      • ‘Going Home’ never felt so good as what your writing makes me feel as I remember life moments of my own…where coming home meant everything. Thank you, for coming back to those deeper places with me.

        • Yes, Diane…you have certainly had your nature-created challenges around your home fronts.
          May that be “then,” and may “now” be filled with a sense of safety at home. Sending you love💜

  • Having been in that exact spot twice in the last three years you said it so perfectly. We don’t take any of the beauty or our special treasures for granted. For the first time we have gotten to know our neighbors and appreciate each and every one of them. The grass is greener, the fruit trees are fuller, the birds are bluer and every day is special. I am so happy for you that you are back home!

    • Thanks, Kathy. You definitely know what it’s like during threatening fire times. And you’re right–upon returning home,
      we appreciate everything, everyone with much more intensity. May you and your homestead continue to stay safe!💚

  • Loved reading this post and picturing the two of you happily back in Archers Acres doing what comforts you. . Stay safe.

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