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  • Writer's pictureSusan Lute

In The Garden: 3 Things About My Home That Make Me Happy

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

Going from a home you just live into turning that home into a sanctuary is not always as easy as you think it should be. It takes time and effort, and often a change in thought and lifestyle. There is a lot of negative noise out there in the world right now. So how do we get around that and make our homes into a safe, cozy, heartwarming place to retreat to? First, remember what you love about your home. Then dream about what you want your sanctuary to look like.

Honestly, from my experience, remodeling a house is one of those journeys that can take a long time. I can't tell you what phase our current remodel is in, but I can say we're closer to the finish line than the beginning. When we bought this little ranch house, I never thought we'd be here five years, much less nearly thirty. Over the years, my friends have been very sweet and patient as I kept saying, “I could live here.” every time we traveled to someplace new (often to a writer's conference). But I have to confess, even while still under construction, this overgrown acre and its house have become my sanctuary.

Let's get started. There are three things about my home that I love.

One. Our property is in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, home to tall volcanoes and lush evergreen forests. The Cascades stretch from northern California to southern British Columbia, Canada. If you're really into geology and volcanoes check out the Ring of Fire. Very interesting stuff. But back to the property. We're about five minutes from a charming, small town, with a population of just over 5,000 people. While our renovations are not complete, it's quiet here and I can breathe (everyone says that when they come to visit). When the sun is high in the sky, it's breathtaking.

Two. I have the best kitchen. It's not big, but big enough for me, and there's no island, which I appreciate. I know a lot of folks love their islands. I have plenty of counter space without having one more place to stack dishes :) I have quartz countertops, a lovely ceramic tile backsplash, and custom cabinets. I'm not bragging (or maybe only a little); having this kitchen is one of the things I could always see while I was on the road to making this house my sanctuary.

Three. Most of all I love the morning sunlight filtering through the trees. It's peaceful, inspiring, and reminds me there is still so much good in the world. This house has so much potential. And one day what we build here will be completed.

My dream. I've been dreaming about a sanctuary or retreat where folks can come and rejuvenate from their worries for years. One of my best friends has a farm. She's a beekeeper and has chickens and sheep. She grows a garden, makes soaps and body lotion. I love going to see her there. She and her farm are so inspiring.

At our place, we have a tiny cottage where visitors can stay when no one is living there. I dream about having a tiny house or two on the property. The primary house is completely finished, a modern rustic ranch where everyone is welcome. The shop will be painted gray and barn red. There's a glass greenhouse filled with growing things. The landscaping is re-imagined with terraces, and every color of hydrangeas I can find. I want to grow gardenias (my mom's favorite flower). There will be more grass than weeds and garden beds for growing food. The canopy of the trees will be high for fire protection. And maybe we'll even have decided on solar or wind off-grid power.

Your turn now. What do you love most about your home? Is it your sanctuary?

Until next week, when I'll be sharing the #lifeandtimes of being a writer for twenty-five years and my current project. Happy reading.

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