Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Heart of the Home

We all know that the kitchen is the heart of the home. The cozy warmth of a boiling kettle on a cold morning; the laughter of friends joking around with one another as a meal comes together; the anticipation of sweet comfort as a cake bakes and my favorite: sitting down to dinner with Thom after a long day.


I, like many of us, have fantasied about my dream kitchen for years. I have a folder of magazine clippings and a board full of pins featuring bright and airy country inspired kitchens.  When we found our house I knew I was still years away from that dream kitchen. Recently renovated this kitchen has updated appliances, cabinets and flooring. It doesn't need anything. But it's not my dream. Instead of bright white and shades of calming blue we have muted shades of brown and beige. Where I envision country touches we have contemporary flourishes.

Just as love is blind it's not what we see on the outside but what we feel inside that matters. Longtime friends quickly learned that our kitchen door would be unlocked in anticipation of their arrival and find us smiling and beckoning them in through the glass. Throughout the whirlwind of packing boxes and painting nearly every damn room that characterized the dog days of August I thought we'd never be ready to move in. When every other room got an overhaul the kitchen required just a smidge of TLC to be ready for us. With the help of some absolutely wonderful friends we managed to get the rest of the house updated with fresh paint. Faint with the fumes we all fled to the refuge of the kitchen for iced tea and sandwiches. When no moving trucks could be had in Boston due to college move-in weekend (seriously, do not move in Boston over Labor Day Weekend) three of Thom's buddies magically appeared with their SUVs and pick-ups to whisk us away to our new home. After unloading the furniture we all congregated for beers on the deck, which is of course off the kitchen.

It was in this kitchen, a few weeks after the move that Thom said to me, "now that we're in the house I really feel like we're a family." No matter whose alarm goes off first, or who manages to grab the first shower, Thom and I manage to meet in the kitchen where he throws open his arms and says, "come get morning hugs!" Even now I sit typing at the kitchen table, roasted pumpkin cooling on the stove, and I can see Thom in the yard mowing the lawn. When he stops to unload the clippings I can hear him singing along to his MP3 player.  We have poured our hearts into each other and this little house.


Blogging has given way to the exigencies of a large yard needing tending before the weather turns too cold coupled with the joys of home decorating. Our simple tastes are enhanced with memories of past lives. Finding throw pillows to match the bright teal in the Turkish carpet I purchased on a trip to Istanbul in 2003 and which is finally out of storage. Or seeing our beloved Boston etched in glass, a generous wedding gift from a cousin, find a permanent home on our coffee table. I am on the hunt for a large antique map of downtown Boston to hang over the fireplace to remind us of our first home together among the storied streets of the North End.

Many dishes  have been prepared in this kitchen over the last two months, such as the pie I'm calling "Dad's Apple Pie" because my father loved it so much, that have provoked the simple question, "are you going to blog about that?" I don't always have a ready answer to that. I didn't like the blogger I was becoming - consumed with self-imposed deadlines, focused on images and SEO, losing the writer side of myself - and I wonder, "can I change direction and become the blogger I want to be?"

But it's never really as simple as being about the blog, right? No, buried within that question is the deeper question, "am I being the woman I want to be?" Two main factors (which I'm barely able to discuss with myself, let alone an audience - I hope you'll understand) are leading me to question my very purpose in life.

Thom tells me to not give up and maybe he's right. Perhaps where once I lost myself in the details I can find myself again in the big picture - in the words. Perhaps it's not about a bigger purpose but the journey. Perhaps it's as simple as finding solace in doing something I love - cooking - and feeding my own soul with writing.

Here, in the heart of our home, I will try to find my way back to myself.

25 comments:

  1. That's beautiful. Relax, enjoy...and fate will make it's way. <3 Joanna

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  2. Sounds like you're on a great journey of self-discovery ... best wishes!

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  3. What a lovely description of your new home and how you feel about it. I also don't have my dream kitchen and maybe I never will. But my home has love in it, as does yours. And my kitchen has a big pot of homemade soup and a freshly baked pie, as does yours. And we are ready for whatever weather comes our way over the next couple of days... together...just as you and Thom are together. Find your path, whatever it may be. This blog should be what you want it to be and only that.

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  4. It is wonderful you have found a home where you can see the vision of your dreams (kitchen) and much more come true. We all have to take time out occasionally to reflect on what we are doing, where we are at, and where we want to go. Take the time to relax, rejuvenate, and be inspired to take yourself and this blog to where you want it to be. I hope you will continue blogging as I so much enjoy your recipes and posts.

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  5. This is such a beautiful post. I know your heart will lead you where you need to be <3

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  6. What a wonderful post! It's to see your getting settled in your home. I hope you find the answers you are searching for and that you continue blogging.

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  7. Oh Jess :) I miss having you in my life. I know one thing....you are a woman I aspire to be like! I love you and am glad you are doing well...guest blog and visiting soon!

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  8. Jessica - I can feel the change in your writing voice today. Being probably what, 20 years older than you, I know what that change is all about......maybe you do too and maybe you haven't given it a voice in your head/heart yet - but you will. If I may offer a suggestion, why don't you change the blog a little? As we move through life our wants and needs change - look at me: I hated cooking until I turned 49 and decided I NEEDED to learn how! Read different kinds of blogs just to explore a new path in your life. Whatever you write about - I will enjoy reading it because you are a great writer! Oh Cake doesn't HAVE to be all about cooking you know - cake can be slang for "darn it" or a euphemism for the Cake of Life. Relax the deadlines - Only you hold yourself to that perfection! :) xoxoxox Love ya!

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  9. Change is inevitable and sometimes challenging, but always refreshing. Enjoy your home and life and when you have a chance, share a touch of it with us here. We will be waiting with open arms and hearts!

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  10. I love this post:) Love your writing style. I feel every few years I am getting to know a new side of me! I always ask myself, "what do I want in life...?"

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  11. Jessica,
    Your post is so touching and thought provoking, at the same time. I'm glad that you are getting settled in your new home, and you and Thom are making it your own:) Moving can be very traumatic, even a good move, and it gives us a chance to begin a new life in new surroundings. with that new life comes introspection and new directions. Enjoy your journey, and follow your heart!

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  12. love this post! thanks for sharing! ;)

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  13. Your blog is absolutely adorable! The photography looks really nice well compared to mine! hahaha.... and the foods looks so yummy!

    Im glad i chanced upon your website while i was looking for a cake recipe... totally bookmarking this!

    Cheers!

    ian of foodfortheblogs.com

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  14. Great post. I hope you find what you are looking for.

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  15. Jessica, just letting you know that your link to Food on Friday: Meatballs was featured in my Need Some Inspiration? Series today. Have a nice week.

    PS Notice that there haven't been posts for a while on this blog - have you shifted?

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  16. Glad you let me know you were on a bit of a blogging break. Hope to see you back when you're ready. Cheers

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