Today I'm linking up at Five Minute Friday, writing for five minutes on a given prompt.
This week's word: FAMILIAR.
Before starting to write, I did a quick Google search on the etymology of the word familiar. As we might expect, it comes from the same root as the word family. Familiar can also refer to a spirit that someone might summon if they want to contact the dead.
But I like the Old English sense of the word: "on a family footing."
It makes me think of our family's farm in PEI. The property is sold now, so I won't be going back to that particular house anymore. But during the many summertime visits Richard and I and the kids made to visit Mom and Dad, it was always the familiar things that truly made it "home."
Almost immediately after arriving, we'd go to the pantry to run a glass of cold water from the tap. Our own city water could never compare to the well water on the farm.
The first thing Jonathan would do was go out to the porch to find the buckets of old Legos, drag them down to the parlour in front of the TV, dump them on the floor, and spend the next few hours filling and dumping.
(Even the words I've used -- pantry, porch, parlour -- seem like "home" words. Others would probably call those rooms the kitchen, the mudroom, and the living room or family room. You can call them that if you want, but those weren't our familiar terms.)
Allison would go to the cabinet in the kitchen and look for some old copies of Reader's Digest, or upstairs to the bookshelf in the hallway to find the Little House books or the old school readers.
Finding the familiar things in their old familiar places was comforting.
Before the farm was sold we took a few small pieces back home with us: a plate with a house and tree painted on it in blue; a cow figurine with little blocks that you can remove to change the date; a water jug; and a few other things.
Using these familiar items and recalling exactly where they were in the farmhouse gives a sense of continuity between past and present, there and here, one home and another. I suppose it really does put me on a family footing.
photo Jeannie Prinsen Nov. 2017