My House

“Home is a house filled with love, groomed with care,

and lived in with a mixture of laughter and tears.”

c. e. hollis


My home is a house, an old farmhouse, but well-loved. My home has seen hardship, excitement, grief, celebration, death, life, illness, health, depression, and exuberance––the sweets and sours of life’s experiences have happened here on the farm.We bought this place many years ago searching for a peaceful place away from traffic and crime. A safe haven it has become––the farm where grandkids love to visit and Gramdpa loves to work.

Many days of happiness have been lived out here on these eighty acres and  in these rooms where books line shelves, wonderful smells of baking bread, grilling steaks, cakes cobblers, cookies, and other goodies have eminated from the kitchen, voices have bounced off the walls, laughter too and many a guest has been welcomed inside these doors.

Babies have been rocked here and laid down for naps. People have studied and learned here. Pets have been loved here.

Flowers usually adorn the table and the kitchen windowsill. Paintings by friends and relatives decorate the walls. Family pictures inhabit the refrigerator doors and the top of the piano.

Speaking of pianos, much music has been played in these rooms on stereos, computers, instruments, guitar, piano, harmonica, dulcimer. Songs are sung here. I sing while I work. I sing when I am alone. I sing with grandchildren. I sing when I’m happy, I’m afraid, I’m lonely, I’m praising, I’m sad. I sing. I love music. It is a big part of home.

The birds I feed lend their voices. Treefrogs sing. Cicadas shimmer and raise voices. Dogs bark. Cows low. Owls call from the creekbank. Children’s laughter rings, and when no one is here, the wind in the trees makes music in my world.




A wonderful gift book The Heart of Spring is for a child to give his teacher this spring.
My book Whats Good About Home is a taste of home and the many good things about it.

A Little Order

“We make a little order where we are, and the big sweep of history

on which we can have no effect doesn’t overwhelm us.

We do it with a garden, with the furnishings of a room, or with sounds and words.

We make a little form, and we gain composure.”

Robert Frost


I make my bed.

I dust my piano. I wash the car’s windshield. I clean off my desk. I file papers. I plant radishes in rows. I stack firewood. I prune trees. I hang new curtains in my kitchen. I pull everything from my closet and take clothes to Goodwill. I brew a pot of coffee. I sort the silverware in the drawer.

I sew on a button. I clip the hedge. I wash the dog. I shine my Sunday shoes. I bake loaves of bread. I cut flowers and arrange them in a vase. I mow the grass. I pull out weeds. I set the table for dinner. I burn the trash. I paint a pink rose. I fold a load of warm towels from the dryer.

I pick up children’s toys. I cook a roast for dinner. I water potted plants. I rock the baby to sleep and put her down for a nap. I wipe fingerprints from a door facings. I rearrange books on a shelf. I sweep my kitchen floor.

I plant a peony. I mail a letter. I stir the soup.I work a crossword puzzle. I comb my hair. I clean the tabletop. I fill the bird feeders.

In all these little ways––all these small pieces of work, I effect order and change for the better on my slice of the earth. I find relief from the load of chaos and disarray I find the world in. I give ease to my soul from the overwhelming stuff of life.

I make the world settle down. I make the world come home.

Spring is Home –– Night Rain

“There is nothing like a spring thunderstorm

with its crash and clamor

to clear your soul

and bring peace to your winter-weary heart.”

c e hollis

This morning the world is misty and mysterious as the sun rises. Everything is damp and warm. The trees begin to tease us with the first pale greens of spring.

Last night I sat alone in my rocking chair, shades drawn, and door latched against the dark. I listened to the rumble of a coming storm. It rolled with a sound like a bushel of turnips tumbling inside a clothes dryer.

The dark foreboding sky lit up here and there with minute flashes of coming lightning.

The rain came slowly at first with a tip, tip, tap of an absentminded grandmother half listening to an old song while she works. Soon it began to pick up the beat and the wind blew it in sheets across the roof. Rain on a tin roof has a special sound. Slap and rattle and rumble and drum.

Drumming began and continued until the booms of thunder subsiding moved from one end of the sky to another. The rain beat down and the thunder began to wan––to move away to rumble again with no booms and no shaking of the rafters.

The rain went back to its pitter-pattering soft and uneven, sweet and comforting. Sleep came with cricket song, rain dripping from oak leaves, and the soft tinkle of wind-chimes.