Dan was born and raised in New Jersey. He now considers Knoxville “home.”
I was born on a visit to my grandparents in Knoxville but raised everywhere else. I have always considered Knoxville “home” even though I was an adult before I actually lived in Knoxville.
Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.–Charles Dickens
We are keeping our home in Tennessee while we live in New Zealand. That was a big decision but it feels right. We also have a contract on a house in New Zealand–also a big decision. It seems right to want to feel “at home” wherever we are. We both enjoy improving our home, painting, decorating, planting, watching flowers come back each year, feeding the local birds. We love coming home at the end of the day. We love sitting at our dining room table after dinner, playing board games with whoever joined us that evening. We want a warm and welcoming space for our family and friends to visit.
Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.–Oliver Wendell Holmes
Our house hunt in Greymouth was a lot of fun. Thank goodness for two very patient and fun real estate agents, Julie Coll and Kevin O’Donnell. We were clueless about New Zealand real estate transactions. We all speak English as our first language but we still had language and cultural barriers.
New Zealand terms with typical American translations
- Character home = an older historic home
- Lifestyle = larger piece of property
- Holiday home = vacation home
- Bach = beach house
- Doer Upper = Fixer Upper
- Townhouse = house right in town
- Tidy = small (real quote: “This little cracker is neat and tidy.”)
- Section = yard (also land in a subdivision?)
- Fire = “wood stove” (in NZ, these are generally “multifuel” stoves that use wood or coal)
- Wetback = hot water supplement pipes that are behind the “fire”
- Heat pump = this is more like the individual room unit in US hotels
- Bathroom = room with a bathtub (but often with no toilet–they generally keep cleaning and stinking separate)
- En Suite = private bathroom off of a bedroom, with toilet
- Lounge = Living Room
- Conservatory = sunroom
- Robe = closet
- Internal access garage = attached garage
- Walk up = literally means a home that you must walk up to. One had 62 steps up to the house but that was the only access–gorgeous home and guaranteed to give you buns of steel.
- Chattels = what stays with the home (drapes, blinds, light fixtures, appliances)
- Tunnel house = greenhouse that is made like a quonset hut
- Glass house = greenhouse with glass panes, in a “house” shape
- Sleep out = small detached room often used for guests or children to sleep in when the home is over-crowded
- Granny Flat = mother-in-laws apartment
A house is no home unless it contain food and fire for the mind as well as for the body.–Margaret Fuller
So to describe the Byron Nelson house in New Zealand terms:
It is a lovely character home with an excellent fire on wetback; nicely landscaped partial fenced section; one bathroom, one en suite, and three toilets; open lounge with conservatory; robes in two bedrooms; one bedroom is a wee bit like a sleep out. No tunnel house but we may consider adding one.
You need a village, if only for the pleasure of leaving it. A village means that you are not alone, knowing that in the people, the trees, the earth, there is something that belongs to you, waiting for you when you are not there.–Casare Pavese
Now, if we could only finalize our work visas and all of the various crazy details to make this NZ adventure begin. Home–both here and there–a welcoming place for our friends and family.