Friday, December 5, 2014

Coming Home

He was there in my jet-lagged
dreams, just as the sun began
to rise over the London rooftops.

Dark brown eyes. 
Soft black curls. 

Waking reluctantly, tucked up 
cozy and warm in my aunt's
guest room, my mind 
lingered on him still, and
I smiled.

The sweet face fading with
the sun belonged to Teddy,  
my childhood dog and enduring
companion in the early chapters
of my life.

A black standard poodle, he
joined our family as a puppy,
when I was in first grade.

The following year, Teddy
growled at the toddler next
door, so my parents found him
a new home with a man in the
country ~ one that didn't 
include little ones running
in and out of the house.

Three of us were very sad.

Apparently, so was Teddy.

He kept running away, and
the man called my mom to ask
if we'd take him back.

I'm fairly certain she made a
unilateral decision, and Teddy was
returned, just before Christmas.

{That was a wonderful 

As a child I was convinced
that Teddy knew he belonged
with us, and just wanted to
come home.

He moved with our family
four more times, from East Coast
to West Coast and then to 
Minnesota, and there was
never another growl at anybody.

I was away at college when
Teddy died.

This time of year, as the
temperature drops and we begin
and end our work or school days 
in darkness, home is especially
beckoning to me.

I've always loved 
coming home.

It's been that way forever, 
whether home was a tiny 
apartment, a dorm room, 
a small house or a more 
spacious one.

Because home goes beyond 
basic shelter.

It's our place in this big
world; the one with the
red X that says,

you belong here.

And even if that spot is
temporary, the fact that we
can go there to be home is
comforting beyond words.

I know not everyone is
so fortunate.

Imagine being unable to
go home, even if you run
and run like Teddy did,
because of wars or politics,
tenuous economics, or just
plain bad luck.

That's reality for a lot of
people around the globe, as
well as right here in our own

For them, home is just 
a dream.

As the holidays approach and I
consider the things that I'm most
grateful for, having a place to call
home is certainly one I will never,
ever, take for granted.

Although it's been decades since 
I cuddled him close to me, I
still miss Teddy's soft fur and
 comforting presence, and smile at 
his determination to get back to 
where he belonged.

To come home.


all images my own

Thank you for all of the joy
you shared with me regarding
my Artful Blogging feature.

Congratulations to  



Julia said...

How beautiful. Thank you for sharing so much that is so common to us all.
Blessings to you.

Mary Boyum said...

I love this!! I feel exactly the same way! No matter where "home" is, there is a certain quietness to my heart that covers me as soon as I step inside. Have a very blessed Christmas. Love to you all! XO

Julie said...

Oh Suzanne. I adore the photo. Beautifully expressed!!! Sending a hug!!! ♡♡♡♡♡

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

This is so lovely, said it so well. I've always thought of home as my safe place, where I can relax and be me. LOVE all of your beautiful photos, especially that last one! See you soon, my friend! xo

Things and Thoughts said...

So tender, thoughtful and sicere...Loved reading it and looking at the wonderful photos.


Your photos make me miss Europe so much. And your sweet story of Teddy ... even got me, a non.animal person. :)

Merry Christmas, Susanne.


Dianna said...

Suzanne, you are so blessed with the gift of graciousness of speech. You write and as I read I feel as if I know exactly how you feel and why. I am so blessed to have met you.

The photos in this post are amazing...and I love all of the numbers...home always has a number for me. :)

Thank you, dearest, for sharing your heart and about Teddy with us.

Bonnie said...

Beautiful, Suzanne.

My home embraces me each time I enter and I feel safe. I too am grateful to have a home. The pictures of those displaced by war living in tents and fear breaks my heart.

Sweet story of your Teddy.

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

You are right, to have a home and a place where we belong is a blessing that we take for granted all the time. Thank you for the reminder Suzanne! I will try to look at my own home with fresh eyes of gratitude instead of discontent. I feel blessed to have a HOME despite it's flaws and quirks. I feel especially blessed to share it with people I love and to be the one who creates "home" for others. What a special companion you had in Teddy and how amazing he knew he wasn't home when he went to live in his temporary housing! Wishing you and your loved ones a very special Christmas, I am sure you are very very very happy to have a certain someone coming home to you! XOX

Blondie's Journal said...

This is so beautifully written, Suzanne. I love the story of Teddy, he was destined to be with you (or the other way around!). And your photos are lovely. I have to catch up on your posts..find out about your travels.

I agree, home is everything, you make it "yours". How fortunate we are indeed.

Thank you for your visit yesterday and Happy Holidays!

Jane x

"Create Beauty" said...

Beautifully written Suzanne.

One of my favorite childhood memories is sitting on the back steps as my dad played his harmonica, as our lost dog came running back to us.

I knew his music brought Laddie home.


We just learned that our youngest dog, our cream afghan hound, is sick and won't be with us much longer.

I am heartbroken.

But I know, one day, when I am
H O M E, in my real home, not this temporary one I am passing through,
my sweet furry friends, all the ones I've had to say goodbye to in this life, will run to greet me.

Because this love must be eternal.

Home is where the heart is.

Thank you for the beautiful story.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!

~ Violet

Happy Homemaker UK said...

So loving your photos of my previous 'home'. Breathtaking! xoxo

Ryoma Sakamoto.Japan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I love the trail of doors! Added a few to my Pinterest Doors board :). Yes, having a place to call home is indeed a blessing. A place to exhale. A place to simply BE.

I had a black poodle growing up, too, though she was a toy (the breed, not an actual toy!) Her name was Missee and I pretty much grew up with her. Memories of her still warm my heart, as well.

Thanks for the lovely post.

Just a little something from Judy said...

I agree with you, there is not a place on this earth where I want to be the most, than my home. I only wish that I could express it in as beautiful and meaningful way as you just did. Wow! I miss Teddy and I never knew him. The pictures are exceptional!

I am thrilled to have won a copy of "The Artful Blogger". Thank you so much! I look forward to a time of curling up on my sofa, with a hot cup of coffee, and the magazine.

Dawn Y. said...

Just lovely, Suzanne! No matter how far I travel, coming home always feels so special to me. Your words and images fill my heart every time! Warm wishes for a lovely holiday season! ♡

Privet and Holly said...

Dawn, I've wanted to
reply to your sweet
comments, but you
do not have an email
address registered with
Blogger for me to reach
you. Thank you so
much for your always
kind and supportive

xo Suzanne

Seawashed Living said...

I grew up with a black poodle too, angie, so I could relate to your story. She died at age 18 when I was away at college too.

Your home message made me think of at this very same time last year we received the news that our home loan modification went through and we were not going to lose our home to foreclosure. This fills my heart to overflowing this Christmas. Having a home means so much. It really does. Beautiful post. xxo

Kathleen T. Jaeger said...

Home is where our heart is and sometimes that is with a childhood pet of long ago.

michele said...

tears. you have taken me back to a simpler time. i love that story of your pet. love wins. home is also what i long for. where i wait for my men to enter and bring noise and laughter and mess. coming home reminds me of my all time favorite story in the bible...the prodigal. for years i have been the brother in that story. i am growing (slowly) into my role as the father now. peace to you right where you are.

tamara matthews-stephenson said...

I love this post - we also have a Standard Poodle named Bridget -- she is 14 years old this Christmas and we've had her since she was a pup. My daughter looks SO forward to coming home to seeing her. You're story touched on so many points about life and why I am also very grateful, and mindful, of others. Happy Holidays! tamara over at Nest by Tamara

Rambling Tart said...

I too have grieved for those without homes, aching for the emptiness and not-belonging-ness they must feel. It makes me deeply thankful for our own little place with all its quirks and problems. It's exquisite to know we belong here. xo

Joanna Jenkins said...

I loved every bit of this and know exactly what you mean about "coming home". It's bliss.
Happy holidays, jj

Joyti said...

Ooo, what a lovely story (Teddy's, that is). And I recognize you in that childhood picture - something in your eyes stayed just the same.

Thank you for your thoughts on home. So true, and so striking this time of year.

Lili said...

Oh Suzanne, just found my way over here today for a bit of catching up with you. So happy to see your feature in the magazine and that your place still has the power to quiet my mind and instantly be transported into your beautiful world of quiet reflection. I particularly was drawn to this post with your Teddy and that sweet face of yours posing with him so many years ago. xoxo