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favorite things #2

December 29, 2008

I just spent the past 5 days at home in Goshen with my family for Christmas.  For me being at home has always been one of my favorite things.  Starting soon after I left home to go to college, I began to realize the great way that home provided a safe space away from the rest of my life.  Granted college was only 3 blocks away and that my trips home often revolved around doing laundry, I really valued the time to get off of campus and go spend time at a home where I felt so well known and loved.  My freshman year, my freshman colloquium class focused on the theme of Utopia/Distopias throughout history and we learned a lot about different (mainly unsuccessful) attempts by humans to live together in community.  Our final project was an essay about where we found hope in the world.  Some people wrote about family, others about God, but I wrote mine about the concept of home.  While I know that many people in the world are not blessed with the ability to go home, for me home was and is a place of rejuvenation.  A chance to be reminded of both one’s uniqueness and universal humanity.  The basic construct of family and a gathering place is not a new one or particular to western culture.  While home means different things to different places, and for some is not even a positive concept, the idea of home means a place where I, in all my oddness, can be guaranteed of a warm accepting welcome.

What I loved about the past 5 days can also be described in more concrete terms.  For example I was amused when about a week before I was due home to receive an email from my Dad with a rough schedule of events that Mom and he were planning for our time home.  Planned activities included the more typical things such as baking christmas cookies, decorating the tree, attending the Christmas Eve service and opening presents.  Of course, considering it is my family we are talking about we also participated in some more unusual activities such as playing with Legos, reading out-loud from Angels and Other Strangers, watching Two Towers and Return of the King extended versions, making cheese (which will age for the next year to be enjoyed Christmas 2009), taking long tramps through the woods, caroling on Christmas Eve while delivering cookies to our neighbors and plenty of board games.
Here are a few pictures from some of our various activities:

I built a house, Jonathan a robot and Tim a car

My siblings and I and our lego creations. I made a house, Jonathan built a robot and Tim created a car.

Tim and Jonathan pour off the whey before pressing the cheese.

Jonathan and Tim pour off the whey, before pressing the kurds and forming the cheese.

Our family went for a tramp through the woods on Christmas it was beautiful, cold and sunny!

Our family went for a tramp through the woods on Christmas it was beautiful, cold and sunny!

I think they were playing follow the leader, I must say I rather love this shot!

I think they were playing follow the leader, I must say I rather love this shot!

My great aunt Ethel was an amazing knitter and after her death, my Mom ended up with 6 of some of the last of her sweater vests.  So of course we had to try them on as a part of our Christmas celebration!

My great aunt Ethel was an amazing knitter and after her estate sale, my Mom ended up with 6 of some of the last of her sweater vests. So of course we had to try them on as a part of our Christmas celebration!

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2 comments

  1. looks like some wonderful family time! i love the ‘follow the leader’ walking photo!


  2. One correction. Mom obtained the sweaters after Aunt Ethel’s estate sale – not her death. Good thing Aunt Ethel doesn’t own a computer or she’d be amazed to read of her own death!



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