“That house was a perfect house whether you liked food or sleep or storytelling or singing or reading or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all. Merely to be there was a cure for weariness.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
I met my husband, Jeff, nine years ago. I’d never met a person (nor will you) who loves the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy or ‘The Hobbit’ more than Jeff. Okay - now you know that. We’ll set that aside and pick it up later.
My home as a single mom was a pretty happy home before I met Jeff. It was a delightful home. It was a cute tiny house and we filled it with fun and the type of hustle and bustle that comes with three young kids. I loved decorating the kids’ new little bedrooms and reveled in making my own single-gal space just right for me, myself, and I. After work, I’d cook dinner (simple things like spaghetti or meatloaf) and help the kids with their homework and then off to bed. It was a simple life. Most of our time revolved around the kids’ activities of dance or gymnastics or piano or baseball or basketball. A lot of car time and a lot of extra-curricular running about. A weekend adventure might consist of something like a walk to the local playground or park, or a trip up north to visit my parents.
Looking back, I can say that those years felt like a quiet pause. We were quietly waiting for what was to come. Those were sweet and special years for sure, but I have to say now that the “energy” of those years felt like a pause. We were waiting for Jeff.
The first day that Jeff and his youngest daughter, Alexandra, came to my house to meet the kids he brought with him: 3 brimming bags of groceries for dinner making, cupcakes from an amazing local bakery for dessert, pots and pans, freshly sharpened knives, the makings for cocktails, the makings for kiddie cocktails for the kids, proper cocktail glasses and glass stir sticks, a bottle of wine (maybe two), cheeses (multiple kinds of cheese from a specialty cheese shop) and crackers and salami and olives and figs and raspberry jam for “teasers” and a cigar that he would enjoy at the end of the evening. That night, Jeff introduced us to what is meant by the expression “the comforts of home”. Suffice it to say, it was a wonderful evening, and we were impressed. That evening felt beautiful and rich and warm and safe. Every time we spent an evening with Jeff, that’s how it was. It was like we were on holiday. I figured it was temporary.
At the same time, I was learning about Jeff’s morning routine. Every morning, year-round, rain or shine, Jeff climbs out of bed, slips his feet into his slippers, pours a cup of coffee and walks outside to the end of the driveway to get his newspaper. Then he makes 1 piece of peanut butter toast and sits in the same chair to read the paper, sip his coffee and eat his toast. This routine is never disturbed. This routine is NEVER disturbed. It doesn’t matter if he’s home or on a business trip on the other side of the planet, or on a family vacation. The routine is NEVER Disturbed.
And now it’s a routine that comforts me. Our family orbits around Jeff’s morning and evening routines. Every morning Jeff shouts goodbye to the kids from his newspaper chair. Every evening at 5:00 we meet in the kitchen for “teasers”, which is our daily happy hour. The dinner candles are lit around 7:00 and we sit down to the table by 7:30 to enjoy one of his delicious meals. (It wasn’t temporary!) Sometimes we still run here and there for the kids’ activities, and not everyone is always able to join the 5:00 happy hour in the kitchen, but the anchor of our household is definitely Jeff’s morning and evening routine. It binds us together even when we’re apart because we can all look at our watch at 5:00 and know that Jeff is filling a couple glasses with ice …
At the same time, Jeff introduced adventure and exploration to our routine. There is most often a pending excursion listed on the calendar. It could be a big family trip or a long weekend away for the two of us, or it could be a new restaurant in the city to try, or an art exhibit to check out, or a band to see. Jeff added a new dimension to our home and it became warmer and richer and more routine AND our world expanded and opened up to adventure at the very same time.
And finally, Jeff introduced a green thumb to the house. Plants everywhere! Healthy plants everywhere inside and out. He’s always fussing over them - watering, re-potting, moving them around so they get the right amount of sun, etc. Plants for beauty and plants for eating. This penchant for plants adds another layer of beauty and health and routine to the home.
Now. Back to the Hobbit. At the very end of the evening, after everyone has gone to bed, Jeff often turns on one of the Lord of the Rings or Hobbit movies to decompress before he is ready for sleep. One day recently I joined him. I sat watching the story of the hobbit and his comforts of the sweet hobbit hole and how he ends up leaving on a big adventure that adds so much depth to his life and how the comforts of home are so much sweeter when he returns.
Wait, Wait ... ummm YEP.
OMG, I married the Hobbit !!!!
The Hobbit’s super-power lies in the ability to expertly mix a balance of meaningful, mindful routine with an appreciation for the finer details that make the mundane moments beautiful while tossing in a healthy dose of adventure to make his house feel even more treasured when he’s home. The Hobbit adds layers of texture and delight to the forgotten corners of the day. The Hobbit is a master at celebrating both big and small moments, which turns life into an adventure and our house into an inspiration.
Left to Right, Top to bottom:
The hobbit's morning routine, coffee cup and newspaper in hand
A portion of the hobbit's evening routine is his 'Mise en place' (prounounced "MEEZ-ahn-plahs" and is a French culinary phrase which means "everything in its place" ) brings photo-worthy still art to our kitchen countertop daily
The hobbit on adventure
These stunning mushrooms buried in a hidden nook in our yard is a perfect example of the magic that hobbits help you find in the small, forgotten corners of your world.
Me and my hobbit
One of the hobbit's simple comforts
The fourth and final blog post of each month will evoke the essence of the Hobbit.
And there you have it! Now you know about the gifts of Cinderella, Kate, Lorraine, and the Hobbit and how they each contribute to curating and cultivating a magic house. Next Tuesday we’ll kick off our first monthly theme. May’s theme is Nest and Bloom.
Thank you for joining me on this journey! I’m having so much fun exploring the Magic House and hope you are too. Comment or Click the Heart at the bottom of this post if this blog is bringing you a smile. 😊 Until Tuesday!