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The Newcomer

Nothing like a happy home

Isn't it strange how little things can frustrate us? A red traffic light when we're in a hurry. A dinner guest who arrives after the juicy roast dried up. A rain squall that left the newly washed car speckled.

Oh, these things don't bother you?

Well, they don't bother me either. (I can't remember the last time I roasted a chunk of meat.) But I bet there's a whole other set of things that do get to us. Because each of us is different and has our own agenda, life's frustrations come in various packages. What is water off a duck's back to some is a major irritant to someone else.

What's interesting is how these two different types usually end up married to each other. Thermostat-on-high always manages to wed thermostat-turned-way-down.

I actually haven't been exposed to many totally compatible married couples. When I do bump into one, there is always a feeling of peace and calm around them.

It reminds me of the certain flow of a river where the current runs the same way and every ripple takes the bumps and twists and turns together. When you walk into a home with that kind of harmony, you feel at ease. Every chair you sink into seems to welcome you, a cup or glass of something appears magically to hand, or, if not, you are immediately given free run of the kitchen to get your own.

My mom had that kind of home, as I was growing up. Her front door swung freely open to brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors, who never knocked, made their own coffee and hung around to work a puzzle she always kept on a table. Food seemed to always be available in some form or other, and our dinner table never knew how many would be sitting down to it at any given time. Everyone was always welcome. They knew it, and made themselves at home.

Oh, did I mention that my mother was a widow at that time?

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