We called her Daisy. It was not her real name but her given name—given to her by my big sister when she was little. Daisy didn’t seem to mind, though, because she was our grandmother and we were her granddaughters.
Whenever I see a daisy now, I think of her. Or whenever I smell Youth Dew by Estee Lauder. Or drink hot tea from a Noritake Azalea china tea cup. Or see a patch of jonquils in the spring.
Daisy’s house, the one in which my mother grew up, was a white clapboard house raised up on bricks, typical of that area in the 1930s. It always held my fascination, largely, I think, because of the stories my mother told me when I was growing up.
Stories about how Mom’s older sister Jenny always led her into trouble but never got caught herself; how her oldest brothers served in World War II and their younger brother wanted to be with them; how Daisy made everything taste good (even fruitcake!) on a budget for her growing young family; how Mom's step-father worked hard at the lumber mill, carried a large metal lunch box, loved his wife and her children.
Daisy’s house was a magical place for me: the hardwood floor, the cherry furniture in the middle room, the light that poured in the front room, the screen porch with its brick steps, flowers in the yard. All of that coupled with Mom's stories stir powerful feelings within me, both then and now. Feelings of love, of longing and belonging, and of home.
In December of 2016, Mart and I stayed at Serenbe Inn, part of a sustainable live/work/play community outside Atlanta. The inn and its outbuildings reminded me a little of Daisy’s house.
At Serenbe, I found myself thinking of Daisy’s house often and of Mom and her stories that made it come alive for me. And even though I haven’t seen it in many years, I still carry it in my memory as an early example of the beauty of home.
Do you have any special places that fill you with feelings of joy, love, or longing? Places with a special beauty for you? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below, or if you prefer, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.