Wednesday, March 19, 2014

On Naming Homes

I've always wanted to name our home, but for some reason haven't.

It's a funny, odd little dream I have, very British in nature but I think one that seems like a worthwhile endeavour.

The reason we haven't come up with an official name is because I keep thinking as if this house is temporary - which is crazy. We've been here for seven years and it's the home we've made as a family. The only home our 5(!) children have every known. It's lived up to the definition of "home" so many times over that despite it's falling apart windows, draft-y doors, and lack of square footage it deserves a moniker that expresses it's importance in the history of our lives.

It's the importance of place too, which we always tend to forget as our modern lives feel so global and disconnected from physical locality in general. But place is important, no matter how much we want to feel integrated, worldy, or well-travelled, and it's worthy of a reminder every now and again. The place you build a home and live your life is of great importance to yourself as an individual, your family, your community and culture. It begins at home, the exact four walls you live within. If your four walls happen to be in suburbia and not a fashionable district of your dreams, or a fixer upper heavy on the fixing, or my nondescript modular in the middle of nowhere, it shouldn't be the actual building itself or it's address that make it worthy of a name but the lives it contains.

The romance of this notion plays a part in naming your home as well. It's a delightful romantic thing to do. Like in all the great books we read houses have names like "Green Gables", "Tara", "Longbourne", "Manderley" or "Mansfield Park"  to name a few. They hold and represent a rich literary story that simultaneously creates a perfect picture in your mind. But why have we modern people who aren't characters in novels stopped? Why have we moved away from the romantic notion that our lives no matter how ordinary are still important stories and that our homes are part of the tales?

We'll see how long it takes us to come up with a fitting "Andulsia" or "Top Meadow" for our little home.

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  1. Mmmm I love this idea. I think it's so fun to refer to houses by names. Keep us posted! Maybe I should name our apartment? Although I'm thinking the names I would come up with would be a little light on the lovely and heavy on the profanity... ;)

  2. I've heard of people naming their cars, but naming a house makes so much more sense to me! I also really want a patron saint of our house but am stumped at who it would be...I'm sure he or she will reveal him/herself when the time is right. And then maybe I could incorporate them into my house name! :)

  3. I would love to name our home! We're renting now so it feels weird to name something that doesn't belong to us, but I will keep this in mind for when we buy. Do you have any kind of process for figuring out a name?

  4. I occasionally refer to my house and my parents as "the Cottage" and the "Big House" ala "Sense and Sensibility" because we live down the road from them.

  5. Christy, this is brilliant! I suppose that, like you, this house was supposed to be (is supposed to be) transitional but still, I think that to include it in the stories of my children's childhood WITH a name - that would probably be a great way to show how endeared to it I really am.

    But my husband will think it's nutty.

  6. My house does have a name! That's one of the benefits of living at a Bible Camp- the buildings are named for ya! My house is Peace.

  7. As a toddler, Jack coined the word "grambled" to explain something complicated that could easily get messed up. So the husband and I call our fictional dream house "Gramblewood." I too, keep thinking we'll move, so we haven't named this house. But perhaps we should. Our neighbor named our new big van for us: Tierney Troop Transport.

  8. I love houses with names. I nick named our first home "Villa Villerkulla" (the name of the house Pippi Longstocking lives in) because it suited the crazy goings on there. I/we haven't named our current home, even though we have lived here 9 1/2 years. I just found one that suits. And since you have to pay a fee to officially name a house in the UK, I haven't been in a hurry to either. Now I really want to though :)

  9. If we ever own our home, I think a naming shall be in order. Love this idea. =)

  10. Christy,
    I found you through the Catholic Bloggers page over on Facebook. I look forward to seeing more of your posts.


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