Our house – #TeamDuke

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❤️2 ……………………. return home
“Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.” – Mother Teresa

I’m at it again, 2 quotes; 1 blog. However, as ever, there’s a message to share, so please bear with me as we open another window in the house of #TeamDuke.

Welcome to this View From The Ground blog. I hope you are enjoying the sharing of our experiences. To be honest, it’s almost like keep a journal – well, sort of. Please bear with me whilst I expand (just like my stomach) on that point.

Before I do, that you for the great response to the last blog – Talk Talk – It’s my life with #TeamDuke. I was overwhelmed by the number of people who peeked through the curtains into our world. I hope you will stay with us and continue to share, celebrate, hopefully be inspired by our ongoing development as the beautiful #TeamDuke.

Over the course of the year, I have tried to share the experiences of #TeamDuke. We are nothing remarkable, when compared to millions of others. However, we are proud of who we are and where we are in relation to our on-going well being. I’m not going to rehash previous blogs on which I have discussed matters relating to the starting point of our journey. If you want to have a look, the #TeamDuke blog is a good starting point.

However, over the course of this year’s blog, I have shared what I would describe as the building blocks which have helped us grow even stronger as a family of 3 – + Zeekee the cat, Ringo the dog, and, well, the new person in my life.

The building blocks – or as I have just mistyped, ‘building blogs’ (an accidental play on words, but actually quite good, so I’m going to use that) – have been based around love, gratitude for what we have (not what / who we’ve lost), the power of family and friends, open communication, helping others, and so on. But the key has been the building blogs (😀) have been shared in the hope that our experiences will help as many people as possible; maybe even inspire action. I certainly hope they put a smile on the reader’s face.

So, what’s the latest building blog (I really do like this term!) about? Well, you might have guessed it’s about the magic of being at home and the incredible place home is / should.

Our house is nothing outstanding. It’s a nice semi-detached. Our house, in the middle of our street. Sounds like Madness? Not really, but I don’t want to become an embarrassment by going on about the house. But, the magic happens because our house is our home.

I guess my point here is the emphasis being on it being a home, not just a house. A place where we gather to talk, to laugh, maybe to cry, to dance like no one is watching, to sit in perfect peace and to be just so.

Ben reminded me recently in those challenging times last year, there were days when I would come home from work and, within minutes, be exclaiming that I should have stopped at the office. Sadly, the home was suddenly a house. It was soulless. I’m sure those who know me will understand the irony – and, as I seem to say a lot, I do love a bit of irony. Now, this is not a dig; it’s a fact and something for which I accept my fair share of responsibility. I didn’t at the time but, upon reflection, I’ll hold my hand up.

However, the commitment we have made as #TeamDuke is to recreate what this wonderful building was for many years – a beautiful home, where we could welcome family, friends, and basically everyone who wanted to join us.

As I discussed in the previous blog, Talk Talk – It’s my life with #TeamDuke, communication is so very important. In equal measures, having a place where we can talk openly is critical – home!

I love that over the last few months we have returned to having a home where people can and will turn up unannounced – wonderful. Where friends will appear at the door, a bottle of wine in hand, ready to have fun. To many people, I’m sure this is no big deal. I understand that, but for us it has been so important because we had lost that.

So, what’s the message? Having now read nearly 800 words I’m sure this is a question that is whirling around your mind. Sorry. I suppose the message is hidden as another exclamation of gratitude. I’m grateful for my house in the middle of our street. It’s our home; it’s our roots; it’s our little piece of heaven; it’s our place to continue creating those bricks of growth and they, in turn, can become future building blogs.

I think I’ll close there. As I sit at home; in my place of quiet reflection and quiet gratitude for everyone and everything in my life. I am blessed and I hereby place on record my love and gratitude to all who have brush passed me through life. Those who have been and gone, thanks for the memories. This who have come and stayed – watch this space as the ride could get interesting. For now, the door of our home is open to you.
Jon xxx

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