This is a picture of the little desk in a corner of my kitchen. I don’t write at it. It is more of a holding place for my bills to pay folder (green) and my bank statement reconciliation folder (red). It also holds address labels, scotch tape, stapler, etc. The corner used to be taken up with a HUGE piece that held my microwave. Scale is important. It was too big, so I found it a new home and bought this cute desk in Lillian Vernon’s catalog. A much better fit and in keeping with my country cottage motif.
In the recent Real Simple magazine was a question readers wrote on: “What does home mean to you?” The responses were varied and wonderful to read. Home for me has always meant my dogs. For it is not a home for me without them. My homes have been solitary. Most of my life i’ve been alone except for my disastrous seven-year marriage. My homes have been a sanctuary full of peace and quiet. I hear owls calling in the woods and the cardinals chirping at dawn and dusk. I smell the wind and watch the sky. I’m in and out with the dogs aware of the weather and its changing cycles. I open my home to friends, to my sister, Mayona, who visits twice a year. I love to have people over one on one. We share a hot cup of tea and whatever I have recently baked.
My house is small, a country cottage really. I make each piece of furniture count and have hand picked the artwork on the walls. Much of it has been done by friends or relatives. I enjoy beautiful things around me but enjoy simplicity more. My house is not fussy. It is comfortable. It is lived in. It is relatively neat and tidy. I love it. It has been my home since 1978.
I have a fireplace which is wonderful on cold evenings. There is something primeval about sitting in front of it. My yellow kitchen faces east and is filled with light in the morning. My table is a massive butcher block one sturdy and broad. Wonderful to write on. The cabinets are laid out in a workable manner. My sister and i can both work without bumping one another. It is easy to cook in or quilt. I have a small island which holds my cutting matt for quilting and extra cabinet space underneath for other crafts and kitchen things. It uses the space well. My cabinets are white which helps reflect the light. There is blue tile behind the sink and the backsplash by the stove. It goes well with the yellow and gives it a French feel. There are lots of cabinets and a long countertop. It is cozy and simple. I have no dishwasher. My stove is gas which I far prefer to electric. I got rid of the massive double door, ice maker frig my ex insisted on buying. I replaced it with a simple one more energy efficient which fits the space much better. Again, the scale is important in a small house.
I call my house Karenthia which is what I called my collie kennel when I actively showed. My answering machine message says, “Hello, you’re reached Karenthia. Karen is not available….” Sometimes new people are thrown by that. But anyone who knows me, knows of Karenthia and what that means.
I have worked very hard to find my house, then buy it and now to maintain it. This is especially challenging since the financial devastation of the divorce ten years ago. I thank God for my home and my ability to continuing living here with my collies. People ask where I’m going for vacation. I respond, “You don’t understand. Every day is a vacation for me where I live.” And I mean it. Karenthia is my sanctuary. Karenthia is my home. Thank you God. I am truly blessed.