Home, Sweet Home

“Home! Sweet Home!” (also known as “Home, Sweet Home”) is a song that has remained well known for over 150 years. Adapted from American actor and dramatist John Howard Payne’s 1823 opera Clari, or the Maid of Milan, the song’s melody was composed by Englishman Sir Henry Bishop with lyrics by Payne. The words are as follows:

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home;
A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there,
Which seek thro’ the world, is ne’er met elsewhere.
Home! Home!
Sweet, sweet home!
There’s no place like home
There’s no place like home!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Exactly 48 hours ago (after a steady and thankfully uneventful three-day automobile drive from Hilton Head Island, SC via Amelia Island, FL) we at long last arrived home from our 4-month hibernation.  As I walked into our little apartment it was an episode of unreserved pleasure!  Instantly the deep colours of the Persian rugs, hardwood floors, dark green leather chairs, mahogany furniture, brass lamps and original artwork overwhelmed me!  I knew in a flash that it was grand to be home!  Whatever one may say about rental accommodations (whether  hotel rooms, villas, houses or whatever, whether on the beach or in an historic plantation) their furnishings are characteristically not of the first order. Last year’s sale of my law office and our house involved critical downsizing but we purposively retained our prized possessions. As wont as I am to opine that material things are of fleeting interest only, there is no denying that it was uplifting suddenly to find myself reacquainted with quality stuff.

Our first stop on home turf was actually not our apartment but rather a quick visit with my elderly mother who remarkably greeted us as though we had never been away.  Instead she couldn’t have been more enthusiastic to rid herself of months of collected “papers” as she calls them, essentially financial reports which of course are particularly prolific at this time of year (tax time). As her Power of Attorney I am likewise anxious to relieve her of these concerns and to put my own incremental apprehensiveness about the matter to rest.  In the past two days I have collected “papers” from her on two occasions and have devotedly forwarded or delivered them to my mother’s accountant.

As far as due diligence goes, apart from a modest bit of accounting work for ourselves, the next item on the agenda was arranging a luncheon with our close and dear friend JCH with whom we had been in regular communication throughout our lengthy absence.  In spite of the on-going remote communication it was nonetheless necessary to rally and to recapitulate to put the lid on the temporary estrangement.  This tryst was preceded by a hurried in-and-out with my hair architect Simone from whose new emporium I emerged much revitalized.  The combination of our recent endeavours and an exceedingly bright but cool sunny day contributed to a welcome bounciness which was reflected in our subsequent luncheon, characterized as always by lively repartee.

One needn’t but scratch the surface of my transparent personality to know that my automobile is very dear to me.  Accordingly after a prolonged period of neglect it was but the work of a moment to organize a routine maintenance gander by the dealership.  The check-up was scheduled for 7:00 a.m. this morning.  In preparation we were seated at the breakfast table no later than 5:00 a.m. and I was on the road to the City by 6:30 a.m.  After delivering the car and collecting a “loaner” of the latest Lincoln product I sped back home where we rallied to conduct a further routine attendance in nearby Carleton Place.  Afterwards His Lordship was delivered to and later collected from his dentist who conducted a cleaning and examination.

Interspersed with the performance of these necessary duties we have shared the latest news with my sister; unpacked and restored our vacation accessories, miraculously found a harbour for my new electronic keyboard and bench, replugged all the electrical appliances, reinstalled and reconnected our various electronic devices and computers and shopped for groceries.  The windows of the apartment were of course temporarily thrown wide open to ventilate the place.  And there were the expected dalliances with neighbours in the building to share briefly the adventures and tragedies of the winter, yet another reminder to seize the day.

The completion of the winter absence signals the start of another fresh step in our lives.  We have now closed the circle of our latest modifications and we thus begin what we hope will be the new routine for many years to come. On a more mundane level we also face the prospect of reorganizing the volume of stuff which we randomly stored in the apartment when we moved here one year ago.  The time has arrived to do what we promised to do “one day”.  We do however have a reprieve from such tedium; this evening we dine in the By Ward Market with my physician and his friends and family to celebrate his sixtieth birthday.  We’ll park ourselves overnight at the Château Laurier Hotel and enjoy a preprandial swim. We’re home!