I hit the farmers market on my way home from work, braving the rain and the premature darkness and the last-minute shoppers. I was there buying the finishing touches--not food, per se, but eucalyptus and apple cider, to make my house homey and wintery tomorrow when I welcome my family for our turkey feast.
I'm reminded of Thanksgiving three years ago when, on my way to my family's house on Long Island, I stopped at the house of some friends of mine. They welcomed me in out of the cold, showered me in hugs and kisses and plopped me in a choice seat in front of a roaring fire, placed a mug of hot apple cider in one of my hands and a toasted buttered corn muffin in the other. This, I thought, is hospitality. This is home.
I have a big, comfortable apartment, with bits of me all over it, especially in the open kitchen, where I love to cook meals for people. And it feels like home when there are people here, and I turn on the christmas lights and make them a cocktail and fill their bellies, and plop them in front of the proverbial/metaphorical fireplace. I have learned hospitality from pros.
Is it a home, I find myself wondering, when it's just me here? A friend has a framed piece on her kitchen wall, something about how home is where "you" are. Without a you--even with hot cider and eucalyptus and two cats snuggled at your bum--is it home? Can it be?