pin it forward

Well, we're almost at the end of another blogger mashup. There's only two days left after today for the Pin It Forward campaign. If you haven't heard by now, Victoria over at sfgirlbybay has organized this amazing lineup of bloggers to talk about 'what home means to them'. We're doing this by using this nifty new program called Pinterest that acts like one big virtual pin up board. You literally click on any image you like and it is saved to one of your inspiration boards. So easy. And the best thing is that it records and links where you got the image from. Perfect!

Now, to the topic, "what home means to me", not an easy question to answer! I've been thinking all day about what to write. I seem to do my best thinking on my bike rides to and from work and I realized that what really makes a home is the experiences and memories you have within it.

Like learning to bake. I can remember doing it for the first time when I was quite young. The hot sweet smell of the kitchen, the taste of the uncooked batter on the wooden spoon and that feeling that somehow as the maker of these cookies you were going to get more out of this experience than anyone else. I mean, who else gets to eat as much raw cookie dough? Not to mention all of the love and adoration that comes from making such a treat for others. It's probably why I come back to baking time and time again. It's a ritual that makes everything right.

Growing up, we were always told that home was not a matter of place or location but simply the connection between family members. Home was where ever the five of us were. And oftentimes, that was in the back of a car taking off on family road trips. There is nothing quite like cramming your entire family dynamic into one small, tight space to find out what makes everyone click. When home is two square feet in the back of a car you quickly realize what really matters.

For as long as I can remember, mornings have always started off in our house with a cup of tea. I think from about the age of six onwards (maybe younger) a cup of hot sugary tea would be waiting for me at the breakfast table. Now, thirty odd years later I still start the day the same way. These little rituals which are so comforting and familiar are what a home is built around. It's like making that same family recipe for strawberry pie each summer or going on the same walk each fall and collecting specimens along the way.On that note, I think I would find it hard to live in a place that didn't experience four seasons each year. I love wintery days with time spent skiing and skating as much as I love the hot days of summer swimming in lakes and catching up on my reading.

Finally, as a child I spent a lot of time travelling. As soon as we had a break from school my mum and dad would pack us all up and off we would go for weeks or even months at a time. I loved all of the adventures we went on. Some of them to very remote and faraway places. There is nothing quite like being in other parts of the world to learn about life and humanity. But sometimes it takes being away from home to realize and appreciate how much it means to you. I remember my sisters and I would play a game where we would fantasize about what our first meal would be when we got back home. Whether it was hamburgers or milkshakes or a green salad there is something to be said for your own bed, your own food, and your own surroundings. Home is sometimes best appreciated from afar.

My Pin It Forward board over at Pinterest has more images and credits for all the above photos. You can also check out my other inspiration boards. Thanks to Cassandra over at Coco & Kelley for posting yesterday and please be sure to visit Dew Drop Inn's Pin It Forward post tomorrow. Thanks again, Victoria for introducing us all to Pinterest and organizing this mashup.