Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #94: At Home

Where thou art, that is home.~Emily Dickinson

This week, Amy has challenged us to picture life “At Home” for LAPC #94.

This theme presents a unique challenge for me, since we have had so many homes.  Since graduating from college, we’ve lived in 6 different states in the USA and moved over a dozen times.  Then, after leaving Grand Rapids, Michigan in January, 2018, we’ve lived in 23 rental “homes” as we’ve traveled around the USA, Australia, Fiji, and Europe.   I think that qualifies us as experts in finding new homes and settling in quickly in new places.

During this time, I’ve thought a lot about what home means to me and what makes an ideal home.  It does not have to be large or grand, but it needs to have some important elements.


I love living in a place that has a view of the sky and water.

When we lived in Gilford, NH, our condo looked out on the White Mountains and Lake Winnepesaukee.  The view at sunrise and sunset was often spectacular like this image shot in 2005.

A Functional Working Kitchen and Space to Share Meals

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.~Benjamin Franklin

Home also means a place where we can cook and share meals with others.   

I loved this kitchen in the home we rented in Savannah, Georgia earlier this year.  It has everything I love–a gas range, plenty of storage, a deep double sink, easy access to spices, cups, and dishes, and a window to look out at the neighborhood.

Food is an essential part of my definition of “home.”  I shot this image earlier this week when I was cutting up some fruit to make a salad at our rental home in Portsmouth, NH.  I like how the evening light from the window illuminated the fruit.


Plants and Flowers

The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.~Louisa May Alcott

Home also is a place for plants and flowers–like these tulips that I photographed in our home in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Art on the Walls, Plenty of Light and A Place to Write

The most important work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes. ~Harold B. Lee

This last shot, taken at our rental apartment in Florence, visualizes the last 3 elements of a good home.  It has plenty of light, art on the walls, and a place for me to write.

With so much uncertainty in the world today, it’s hard to know if we can continue our traveling lifestyle or we’ll have to make more permanent living arrangements.  But in any case, I’ve learned that I can be happy in homes large or small, spare or luxurious–as long as they contain plenty of light, a view of nature, a space for me to work, a good functional kitchen, and beautiful elements like art, flowers and plants.  Most of all, home is the place to share good food and conversation with people I love.

If you’re interested in some creative photo ideas for shooting at home, here’s a great resource which I used when preparing this post from Feature Shoot.

We invite you to stop by Amy’s site and take a look at her beautiful “At Home” challenge.   As always, I am looking forward to seeing your creative and unique interpretations of life “At Home.”

For the next few weeks, our challenge schedule will be:

Once again, my closing words for this week are: stay well, stay safe, and keep creating!

45 replies »

  1. Living in different cities and towns gives wonderful opportunities and convenience to see places, meet people, and enjoy culture. I envy you, Patti. I imagine it takes a lot of planning. I’d enjoy the apartment of Savannah. Your rental apartment in Florence seems ideal, the writing area, art work on the wall… an ideal place. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Amy. It’s true. We’ve had a chance to “try out” homes all over the world. It does take a lot of planning. I’m thinking that we’ll have a chance to “re-do” our 2020 plans at some point, given that it took a lot of time to come up with all the details! But until then, it’s all good. I love that apartment in Florence, too. It is almost 200 years old. Amazing. It makes me wonder how many times it’s been painted! Take care, too, Amy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Patti, Thank you for sharing your thought with me. It’s not always easy to “re-do”, but it’s good to be flexible and make changes accordingly. Take time to plan the details. Good luck to you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how you distilled the elements of a comfortable home to a few important features – nature, kitchen & food, plants, art, light and a place to write! As I look around our small condominium on the Long Beach Peninsula, those are the same ingredients that keep me comfortable!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A place to invite people to and be proud of is what it means to me, Patti. Maybe I’ll get to join this one but there’s a daily challenge running till Thursday. Elastic time doesn’t seem to be going any further in lockdown. Love your sea view and that gorgeous ping grapefruit. Stay safe, hon! 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. home can be in different places as long as there is love and joy. i love all the homes you’ve featured here. Patti. they all have the same elements i would call home. your photos are beautiful! thank you for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 23 rentals homes since January 2018? How is that even possible? You must be much more minimalistic (by necessity if not by nature), than I am. Is one of you in the service? At any rate, I like the Alcott quote and that lovely room in Florence especially.

    Have a wonderful week.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Janet. Some of the vacation rentals were very short (2 weeks) and others were longer (up to 2 months). Before that we lived in homes anywhere from 2 to 8 years. No, we’re not in the service. Just in careers that required relocating for advancement. The apartment in Florence is lovely. We can’t wait to go back. Take care and be well.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree in every sense, Patti – you have lined up all necessary ingredients – and photographed them deliciously. So many wonderful homes! I cannot imagine moving so many times though, even if I gladly move every night when traveling… I have to have one permanent home to return to. I think my favorite image is of your working place. I wish mine was as “clean” and uncluttered.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Some of these “homes” were very temporary rentals–for 2 weeks or so–others were longer–up to 8 years. But each one had its charms! You have your home base, which is lovely, AC. I have enjoyed your photos of it. Charming.


      • Thank you, Patti. In school I remember how we learned about Americans being more mobile than we are – long distances and working in many places. That was some 45 years ago. But we are all different. We should go for what feels best and sometimes there is no other choice either. I am sure every home you had was charming and well organized!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Well Patti, I must say I never thought about what it would be like to talk about home when you are currently without one LOL! That said, you’ve handled it flawlessly as always. Love how you shared what’s important to you along with some of the places where you’ve found it. Not surprisingly we share many of the same must-haves. The most impressive thing is how you’ve managed to find them wherever you go! Hope spring comes to you soon up there!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m a bit of a nomad myself. By the time I turned 12 I had lived in five different homes and been to three different schools in different counties in England. And after leaving school I travelled around and lived in rental houses for years. I bought my first house when I was 42 and lived in that for almost 18 years (most of the years were as a rental), the longest by far. I’m not particularly emotionally attached to bricks and mortar, I just like somewhere that is comfortable and welcoming though a decent view is a bonus as are nice neighbours! Not always the case!

    Liked by 1 person

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