“But you will admit that it is a very good thing to be alive.” ― L. Frank BaumThe Marvelous Land of Oz

If you sometimes feel like you are living in an outmoded situation just like Dorothy caught in the dust bowl in Kansas, you might be well to remember that “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard.  Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”

If you are continually searching in Munchkinland, The Emerald City, Home Sense, Crate and Barrel or even along the Yellow Brick Road, you may finally come to realize that in the end, you have to be happy in your own kitchen or all else is naught.

But sometimes the search is worth it, the myriad means by which we seek out a place that we call home.


The real truth is engagement of your possessions and objects. The memories and associations from each piece is what constitute engagement.  First with use and secondly with response.  One that engages your passions, your interests and your values. Think of a shrine or an alter of sorts. Every item has particular significance.

You can’t engage with objects if you never see them unearth their glory with a conscious decision that these are important to you.

I have a story about my collection of Starbucks cups from around the world.  When I moved, I thought I had absolutely no place to display them, and so I didn’t.  I discovered after a few months that I mourned the loss of not seeing them everyday, the unease of them sealed in a box.  They represented my passion for travel and the memories of the people and experiences associated with them.

So I scoured my home and brain until I found a solution.  It now makes me happy every day to go into my office and see them stacked on top of the hutch on my desk.

Sometimes, one has to lose some possessions in a move or in a clean-out, but then the items that are kept are all the more precious.

My books – the ones I had to leave behind.  My books – the precious ones I kept.

Memories are better evoked with a few chosen items than a collection of unimportant ones. It is sometimes that our ties to people are measured, remembered and honored by concrete objects…the coat someone bought me in New York, the earrings bought on the beach holidaying with a good friend, the heart rock found while meandering in Antigua.

That could be why there are so many dried roses in the houses I stage.  It is precious through association.