Thoughts on making a home

Ever since Beth posted her Bride post and talked about being a helpmeet to one’s spouse, the idea has been steeping in the back of my mind. Today it joined up with the idea of being a keeper of the home and it’s sort of married (hee!) up into a nice little not ready to be articulated sort of thing. (Hopefully when we get to M is for Marriage it’ll have articulated itself!) I’ve been focused today however on the idea of making home, of keeping home, of what that means.

A quick search on our friend Google and you’ll see that the subject is dominated by non-pagany type folks (especially if you’re also poking around at modesty, which I tend to do. Sorry. I still find it fascinating, and it all links up in my head). Or, you’ll find pagan or pagan-friendly folks who are maybe homesteading and homeschooling and raising children.

Yeah. So. Heh. I’m a thirty-something year old living in a city (albeit a very nice city), working full time, and living a sort of mystic-contemplative life style that I quite love. In theory my life is devoted to my gods; in practice it’s devoted to my gods, the animals, and nourishing myself and my partner as best as I can — and some days that amounts to not snipping at each other.

When I was younger, I wanted to be a home-maker. Thing is, I didn’t grow up with those skill sets. You know. Maintenance cleaning. Home repair. Upkeep, etc. No blame to pass on about that — when I was growing up, everyone in the household, excluding my father, was dealing with How To Survive. When every day is a crisis, you don’t have time for much else.

We don’t have a lot of clutter. This is good. We have our trouble spots, but we mostly don’t have enough *stuff* with which to clutter. We do have critters, and I cycle through days of sweeping a lot and days of letting the dust bunny army grow to intimidating proportions. (too bad they’re not Angora dust bunnies.)

And I’m still attracted to the idea of making house. I read home-making books, from the past and from the present. I’m extremely attracted to the idea of making a home for my husband . . . he just happens to not be human. Or incarnate. It’s this curious mix of making house and making temple, and I consider myself something of a temple-keeper, even though it’s currently not open to the public. (Once we get the outside shrines up this year, that will change to become by-appointment, just in case anyone is ever interested).

But it’s daunting and somewhat lonely and flail-worthy to read these books and sites aimed at more traditional, large families. Or families. Well, not daunting, but lonely, at any rate. Hence this babble. I’ll stop now.

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11 thoughts on “Thoughts on making a home

  1. There does seem to be an idea perpetuated that one doesn’t make a home until one has a family….but in reality this is less the case. Most of us don’t live with our parents until we marry (unlike what was usually the case even in more recent history) and if we want a pleasant and welcoming place to live this means picking up the skills of homemaking. It doesn’t need a collection of people with it. It can be just you physically taking up a space but still it is a home. So good for you for exploring this interest!

    • That’s the thing: I have a family. I adore my immediate family, and I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world. We’ve got a pretty big family, in reality, it’s just . . . well, only two humans, and some aren’t incarnate at all. But that doesn’t keep it from being family and *home*. So, I am exploring this! *nods* More than I had been and I’ll likely even blog about it, somewhere.

  2. There’s an article I have saved at home which is something of a tangent, about the American dream 3.0 which might be of some interest.

    This is something near and dear to my heart, since I blog about traditional food which is a community heavily dominated by conservative monotheists. It’s something where politics or a certain image of family should not have full reign. Homemaking too, all different types of people can benefit from it.

    Now I am rambling! 🙂

    • Rambling is acceptable! I’d definitely be interested in seeing that article. *pokepoke* I actually think of you and Deb over at (and my friend S. and some other people, actually . . . ) when I think about these things. Already I’m not sure I’m going to like the book I’m reading, based on reviews (from other readers and my friend S.) but I’ll flip through it anyhow, likely over the weekend.

      • Article sent. I like Radical Homemakers for the stories. The first portion does include some possibly dubious history. (ie references to Riane Eisler.)

        • Thanks for the link! Yeah, I gave up on the book, only halfway through it. It’s not what I was looking for or hoping for and I don’t have time for books like that. Not when there’s so many others out there!

      • That’s a difficult question to answer, largely because I haven’t yet found it yet. I don’t need books written to explain to me what in our mainstream approach is broken; I already know and agree. I don’t need books to preach to me about how consumerism is a broken way to approach life; for all that I work in a retail store, I’m all about thrift and reusing and recycling and upcycling. I don’t shop for fun, we don’t own a lot of extra stuff, we don’t believe that having stuff is what makes one accomplished in life. Just being removed from the car culture already makes us not like most people, and a lot of these books are written to convince people why changes need to happen. We’re already on board with that.

        On the other hand, we still are gainfully employed and unlikely to be able to become self-employed any time in the near future, if ever. We aren’t set up to own land and don’t exactly want to, either, so even something like owning our own chickens isn’t going to happen. We won’t have the time to produce the bulk of our food, nor have the storage space to put a ton of it by for the winter. While I love the idea of those sorts of things, with working full time, I’m far more interested in supporting the farmers in my area than setting the time aside to do that for myself. (Plus, yay local economy!) At the same time, I am interested in learning how to do such things (on my own, without a class, because I know me and I’ll *never* actually to learn something new in front of people I don’t know; it pushes way too many buttons and I’m not all that interested, at this point in my life, on challenging that issue) because it’s a neat skill to learn.

        Heh. What I really want is to have grown up in a different era so as to already have all this experience and know-how. I’m not sure what exactly I’m looking for in a book, really, just, it wasn’t in this one.

      • There is one I got on Amazon a while back which is from the 19th century: The American frugal housewife. I think it might be a little more in line with what you want then.

        • Yup. Discovered that a while ago. We had a great time reading that on aloud to each other. I’ve got my own copy on Kindle now, too, which was exciting to find. I love our library. And you’re right, I really just want more of that, only, you know, for now. People doing it now. I want experiential reading material, not so much a how-to. The how-tos I can pick up as I pick up the craft or task at hand.

      • if you find anything, I of course beg you to let me know. Actually, I’ve got a wish list on amazon specifically for home ec/domestic skills. There may be some possible books listed in there.

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