Day 997: Houses and homes

When I left house and home yesterday, I didn’t feel ready.  As I listened to this song …

…  I passed by a sign for Boston’s Beth Israel. “Beth” means “House” in Hebrew.


I was born at that hospital over 60 years ago, when my family’s house and home was in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Then,  I reached my office, where I try to help people feel at home as they explore important life decisions.


I wonder if that kind of conflicting advice hits home for anybody, today, besides me.

I didn’t get back to house and home, yesterday, until 6 PM. To help myself feel at home, I took these photos along the way:


IMG_5128 IMG_5129 IMG_5130 IMG_5132IMG_5133IMG_5134

Which one of those images reminds you most of house and home?

Fenway Park, which is home to the Boston Red Sox, has been my home-away-from-home for many baseball games since I was born at Beth Israel. Tonight, I’m joining my sister Ellen, her spouse Linda, and our cousin Lani for one of the last home games of the 2015 baseball season. I’m sure we’ll all feel at home at Fenway Park (as opposed to how I’ve sometimes felt at the House that Ruth built).

I hope you feel at home with these pictures I took last night, after I left house and home with my boyfriend, Michael:


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Make yourself at home, please, and leave a comment about this house-and-home post, below.

Homey thanks to Kurt Elling (for his rendition of “A House is Not a Home”), to Beth Israel, to Michael (who helps me feel at home, wherever we go), to Ellen, Linda, and Lani, to Fenway Park, to all the houses and homes I’ve lived in over the years, and to you — of course! — no matter where your home is, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 29 Comments

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29 thoughts on “Day 997: Houses and homes

  1. I love the randomness of this post 🙂 The only place I didn’t feel at home in was a Vermont camp for girls. I was a counselor and every cell of me hated regimentation. Waking to the bugle for a frosty morning dip in the lake made me terribly homesick for NJ (yes NJ).

    I loved the calendar with the cat “I Could Pee on This.” I used to have an orange Persian who peed on the stove every morning. Burnt pee smells really bad.

  2. I like your home here. I always feel welcome, embraced by the joy you share so generously and lifted up by all the wonder and awe you share with such grace!

  3. I love this jazzy song, thanks. Like Louise, I like your home here.

    • I think the advice “Look before you leap. He who hesitates is lost”, is perhaps too drastic? I don’t know, for me, “He who hesitates is ‘undecided’, or perhaps in ‘denial’, but isn’t “lost” perhaps too anticipated? Just wondering.

      • Or are those written like that on purpose, to analyze them with the group?

      • Maria, “Look before you leap” and “He who hesitates is lost” are both old sayings that actually contradict each other. I put those up on my white board during a discussion of differing advice about life changes.

      • Thanks so much for that clarificarion! They are both themselves a contradiction of each other; how interesting!

    • I love your comments, Maria!

  4. The lines from the song that a house is not a home unless there’s someone there to kiss goodnight reminded me of a friend whose mother, now a widow, has moved into a collective housing unit. That sounds so clinical, but it’s a small place of about eight living spaces for singles or families with a communal kitchen. It’s a wonderful idea, but my friend had some concerns about it. Maybe I should quote some of those famous lines of Auden’s to her.

    Much can be said for social savoir-faire,
    But to rejoice when no one else is there
    Is even harder than it is to weep;
    No one is watching, but you have to leap.

  5. Thank you for the smile this morning as I catch up Ann. Its good to be home … 😊

  6. This post brings to mind other, more somber domestic verses:

    If the heats of hate and lust
    In the house of flesh are strong,
    Let me mind the house of dust
    Where my sojourn shall be long.

    And this verse:

    The time you won your town the race
    We chaired you through the market-place;
    Man and boy stood cheering by,
    And home we brought you shoulder-high.

    Of course, these poetic references to house and home were penned by (who else) A.E. Housman. I committed them to memory in my college room in Lowell House.

  7. Beth Ann…The House (Blog) of Ann. Just saying. ❤️

  8. I would not hesitate to heed the request not to flush paper towels down the toilet. If anyone failed to heed that advice and flooding ensued, I would look before I leapt, but I would certainly leep.

    • I didn’t leap fast enough to answer this comment on the day you made it, Maureen. Please heed my apology for that.

      • Nein, nein, nein, Ann, don’t worry — you do not have to respond to everything I write! I am not trying to make work for you.

      • Nein, nein, nein, Maureen. Connections with you are NEVER work. They always help me feel more at home.

  9. Houses and homes require a lot of maintenance and care.

  10. Oh, how you have the knack of making people feel safe at home, Ann. Thank you.

  11. I have lived in more places than I ever would have intended. The experience has taught me that home is wherever I am

  12. Pingback: Take Back Your Energy Bills – Energy-Efficiency Measures that Work for You | Washingtonian Post

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