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If you’ve known me for any length of time, say and hour or more, you probably know that I have not lived in Canada my entire life. In fact, though I have lived most of my life till now in the same general area, I still feel that in some ways I spent a huge chunk of my life away from here and therefore I do not belong anywhere. I will probably explore this more in another blog but I wanted to bring this up because this experience has impacted me in an interesting way. Because of the moving I have had a hard time feeling completely at home, anywhere.

In the past many years I have been working through a lot of those feelings of loneliness and aimlessness, feeling like I don’t belong or more so, that people don’t think I belong or don’t want me around. Growing up I would dream of a place where I could be myself, where people besides my family would want me around and love me as I am. Perhaps this is something that doesn’t completely exist in our broken world, something that we will only truly experience in heaven, but I think we can get glimpses of it if we look around. And yesterday was one of those times, a peek in the door, if you will.

When I was growing up, once we moved to Canada, occasionally our family would take an afternoon to make donuts. Now for me this is normal but as I chat with people, and when my husband found out about this, most people, including him, are surprised and somewhat intrigued since they have never experienced it before. But for our family it would be a project we would do together, sort of. My mom would make the dough and get the donuts cut and onto pans. Then someone would fry them in hot oil in the garage to keep the smell out of the house, I used to do it but then my sister started taking over once I headed to college. While they would be preparing the donuts I would make a glaze so that as soon as they were fried they could be dunked in the sugary goo. Many donuts were eaten by whomever happened to be around, but they were also passed out to the neighbourhood. That was my dad’s job, mom would keep him running with full paper plates lined up to be brought around. It was always a good day when we made donuts.

When B heard about this he wanted to see it in action so last Christmas during a storm that snowed us in we made donuts. It was great. Everyone did their jobs and by the end of the day the whole neighbourhood was full of the sweet goodness of fresh donuts. Once he had seen it he asked if we could make donuts too. Eventually I got an extra electric frying pan from my mom and we decided that yesterday was going to be donut day. And what a day…

We started thinking of a few people who might like to come over, when Mom makes them there are tonnes to go around so we cut the recipe in half but wanted to make sure they got eaten fresh, since they’re the best right out of the oil and dunked in sugar glaze. B invited a coworker over, warning he he would have to help make the donuts. I invited a friend too, so I wouldn’t be outnumbered by guys. B had invited another friend too and so he came by with his wife after she was done work, and I had randomly texted a friend I knew would not turn down fresh donuts, he brought my cousin along too.

Needless to say it was a full house, well, apartment. But just that morning we had picked up a great find on Kijiji, four dining room chairs, and they were put to use right away. So our afternoon was spent with friends, eating donuts just out of the oil and chatting a lot and enjoying each other’s company. It was a motley crew, people from very different backgrounds, experiences, and at different places in their lives but it was wonderful.

I’m not sure how I can explain it any better but it really felt like home, like our home, like community and caring and fun. The donuts seemed to make everyone relaxed. I didn’t try to host, I just welcomed people in an gave them space to be themselves, and they let me be myself too. B made delicious Transcend coffee and people helped themselves. It was so neat to see everyone interacting and people getting milk out of the fridge for their coffee, comfortable, like they would if they were at home. Sounds cheesy, maybe, but it made me feel a bit more at home too.

So what makes you feel at home? If you were to pick one memory that epitomizes home to you what would that be, I would love to hear it. 🙂