In re: What makes it home?

HouseHouse by Michael Ruhlman, is a memoir about the restoration of a home in Cleveland Heights, the older, inner suburb of Cleveland where I grew up.  I believe I had mentioned earlier here that I had been reading it as part of the ‘restored’ book club (the book club is a really exclusive organization I am in…that being a friend and I take turns choosing a book that we will both read, kind of an attempt to put pressure on ourselves to read these books and then maybe talk about them.  In reality it hasn’t worked out as well as we envisioned, but through determination and the perseverance of the human spirit, it has survived even if Garbage Land, took about 3 or 4 months to read on my part and a similarly large chunk for my friend.  (A note on Garbage Land, which I actually mentioned here before, it was an interesting book, not a page turner per se—I mean what were you expecting?—but it really only took so long as I misplaced it once for a month or so, had various bouts of studying for school overcome me)  Anyway, maybe I’ll mention that book again sometime, but for now I really had only meant to mention a scene in House, where on first morning waking up in their new house (which was still under significant reconstruction and they were living in the 3rd floor, which was the only finished part) and descending to find the morning papers on the front step and the significance that the delivery of the paper had come through.  I understood what he was talking about, and while I don’t remember right now what grand words he used, I had similar experiences when I moved to Columbus and I woke up in my new home to have no news from any source, be it internet, TV or newspaper and when on the 2nd or 3rd day the Columbus Dispatch began to arrive, a significant corner was turned and I felt finally I was at home.  I’ve always felt something important about getting the paper, I don’t know if it is that merely someone visiting my house every morning while it is still dark out, or the sheer enjoyment of reading the paper with a cup of coffee, that a laptop loaded up with websites doesn’t replace for me.  Even at as young and tender an age as I have attained I may be dating myself, as I’ve already found friends thinking I was out of touch when I suggested they check my paper for the channel of a TV show or for the days weather, but it works, it sits there and it comforts me, and it may be horrible for the environment (I recycle the paper, but of course lots of energy and waste is created in this cycle of madness) but I do it nonetheless as it defines my day and my home in some indescribable way. 

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One Response

  1. You are not significantly dating yourself because you don’t read the paper online. No, your exercise in willful denial of better technology simply means that(aside from the extra waste you admit to creating) you look up tv shows and weather reports more slowly than the rest of us. I will admit to being too lazy to switch away from comfortable technology also, though. We all probably would.

    I do think, however, the fact that you take the time to read the paper at all dates you in a much more significant way (but probably places you in the generation prior to yours…which, now that I think about it, seems to be an odd but appropriate fit).

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