Thursday, February 10, 2011

Peaceful Harbor

Two weeks ago, I went to Carmel California for an impromptu girl trip with one of my sisters. Donna lives in Ohio. She called and said she needed a "girl trip." I got on the internet and started searching for places to go this time of year that would not be miserably cold. There are not too many places in the 48 states that have not been impacted by the extreme cold weather we have had lately. Our other sister, Katie, would not be able to go due to her college classes.

Well, long story short is that I found a cottage in Carmel CA.  It was perfect. It had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, living room, deck outside. Inside was cozy with a fireplace and lots of windows. We booked the cottage, arranged cheap airline reservations and set off. 

We flew into San Jose, rented a car and headed south. The San Jose valley was covered in fog. Finally we emerged from the valley into the sunshine. We stopped in Monterrey. We ate at Bubba Gumps Shrimp house. We shopped on Cannery Row. We headed south again to "Dove Cottage." Upon arrival, we drove right by the carport and had to circle back around the block. The cottage was just as charming in person as it was on the internet.

In the evenings, we would start the gas fire (with the convenient remote) and settle into the deep sofa and chair and read our books. We would chat and read. I took the book, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert with me. My sister is a speed reader and read two whole books while we were there.

You are probably wondering what this has to do with "Peaceful Harbor"? In Carmel, the houses do not have house numbers, instead they have names. Our cottage was called "Dove Cottage." I started thinking what would I name our house in Fredericksburg?

In Eat, Pray, Love she has a discussion on peaceful harbor, and now that I am looking for it in the book I cannot find it!!!! Basically she says that peaceful harbor is the entryway to a fine and proud island that is only now beginning to cultivate tranquility (I had written this down!!) By the way, I do not agree with her portrayal of God but that is another story.

The thoughts merged for me. If I could name our house, Peaceful Harbor would be a good name.
Peaceful is an adjective that means:
1. characterized by peace; free from strife or disorder
2. peaceable; not argumenatitive or quarrelsome

Harbor is a noun that means: 
1. a portion of a body of water along the shore deep enough to anchor a ship and situated with respect to coastal features, whether natural or artificial, to provide protection from wind, waves, and currents
2. any place of shelter or refuge

I looked up peaceful and harbor in the Bible Concordance.
Peaceful yielded these two verses which speak to a calm house.
Isaiah 32:18 - My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.
1 Timothy 2:2 - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
It was interesting all of the references to harbor referred to harboring evil or deceitful thoughts. A hiding place for sin.
Of course, my husband said Casa Smith should be the name of our house, but I want it to mean something, not just someone. I want our house to be strong but calm, orderly but fun, a refuge from the challenges of everyday life, a retreat where the flowers bloom and the water flows. Peaceful Harbor - it evokes a feeling of calm as I say it. I think I should paint a sign to hang over the front door.

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