Home Is Where the Heart Is

Life's been a bit hectic - again. This time we had to move out of our home because of a plumbing renovation. For two months we shall live in a small apartment - mattresses on the floor, two tiny tables (one for computers, one for eating) and two armchairs.

For two days we moved furniture in our home, wrapped everything in plastic, tore down the kitchen to the bare walls (it will be rebuilt) and watched how our bathroom just vanished, bit by bit, by the renovating company. The sound of the drill was echoing in the house and the fire alarms were beeping in apartments around us because of the dust.

And suddenly the home we so loved turned into a building site with strange people all around. It did not feel like a home anymore. And the tiny rental place we got instead suddenly began to feel like one.

Why? We only have the bare essentials there. No pictures on the walls, no radio, not even curtains until we found old ones the previous owner of the apartment had left behind. We managed to hang those on some of the few windows. (Now if you wonder why did we not bring our old curtains to our rented apartment: we only had Venetian blinds in our home). The bathroom is the size of a stamp - almost impossible not to drench everything when going to the shower, despite the shower curtain. The kitchen is from the 60´s - every time you open a cupboard it creaks so loudly the birds fly off the trees behind the window. The floor shows signs of 40 years of walking, the wall papers are much worn. One door is broken - who knows what happened to it as it has no lock or handle left.

I thought about how carefully we had collected all those items that we considered were essential for being comfortable in a home - suddenly they were not necessary at all. Our cats liked the new apartment immediately and chased their toys and each other around. We sat in our two armchairs, watching the very small TV which hubby managed to fix so that we could hear the sound too - and we are quite comfortable.

The obvious answer to why this place felt like home is in the old saying: "Home is where the heart is".

For my own part I can say that as I was not missing our furniture or view from our windows - in the end those were not what make a home. Not material goods - but love and affection are the building blocks of a home. Home is where you are happy, where you feel safe.

I know we are very lucky to have even this small makeshift apartment - the news from Haiti and Chile have shown so many people who have nothing left. No roof over their heads, no electricity or running water, no safety. I wouldn't dare to complain about slight miscomfort when we have all this. I can only imagine them trying to make a home outdoors, hopefully with their family still alive. Many don't have anyone or anything left. Their lives have literally crumbled away. They are living a nightmare.

This is where we need to give a helping hand. It may feel the small amount of money we can give is a mere drop in an ocean. But it's good to stop there, and think about it. An ocean is made of those drops. And so - every drop counts. Help them build their homes again.

Have a good look around you - appreciate the home you have, and the people in it; be it family members of friends you can invite over. Think of those who have none of that. Give a helping hand where you can. And concentrate on building a home where your heart is content. No matter how small - it is your castle, after all.

Leena :)

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Leena Pekkalainen is a writer who specializes in inspirational short stories that uplift the reader. You will find her stories and positive attitude tips at https://www.inspirational-short-stories.com

This article was first published in Inspirational Short Stories newsletter.

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