Since I was a very little girl I have wanted to name everything that was mine, and even some things there were not mine. What I mean by that is – my dolly had a special name – Rose (I only had one doll because that was all my parents could afford), my paper dolls (cut out from comic books) all had names, my tap shoes (Tappy Toes) and ballet slippers (Tippy Toes) had names, and so on. I just believed that things became more mine when I put a name to them.
As I got older I continued to name places and things. Initially there were my apartments – my first one was in a Hollywood rooming house where I had one room, shared a bathroom, and had kitchen privileges. I named this special place of mine – Holly One. My second apartment, larger with a bath and Pullman kitchen was – Holly Two; my third with both a kitchen and bath, plus a pull-down bed – Holly Three, and so on. You get the picture.
Then when I was able to purchase my first car, a wonderful Morris Minor which I had painted red, I just knew it had to have a great name – so I named it – Scarlett O’Hara. And sometimes it appeared the name fit very well, especially when it would say to me “I’m too tired to drive you now, I’ll drive you tomorrow”. Since that time I have had several more cars and all of them had appropriate names. My current car is a Honda Element with a license plate reading “Vicar”.
Any home I ever lived in or owned had to be special or I couldn’t live there. Each one had its own unique qualities, and more than one or two were built on a vortex. I lived in a wonderful English Tudor Style House near Seattle – and where I could view my ethereal Mt. Rainier – for many years. It was, perhaps, my favorite house of all and it was named after my favorite English Actor, Anthony Quayle – hence the name Quayle’s Nest. The house was set back from the street and had about 18 to 20 very large evergreen firs which just grew in the yard. I never planted any of them. We raised our four children in that house and built a lot of memories. Whenever there was a bad storm, all the lights in the house would go out and we would set out candles everywhere, start a fire in the fireplace, and cuddle up in the family room in front of the fire as we roasted marshmallows, heated water for tea or hot chocolate and just made the best of it. If the lightning and the thunder came too close to the house, all of us would lay down on the floor in the hallway, where there were no windows, until the storm was over.
We finally decided to leave the area when my arthritis began to complain. The continual rain and cold winters played havoc with my bones, then beginning to feel the results from years spent as a dancer and a speed typist. The final decision came when I got up one morning, went to my closet, and found most of my shoes and clothing were damp from the continual rain, and rain, and rain. It wasn’t that the roof was leaking – we had just had a new roof put on – no it was just that the side of the house where the rain was being pushed by heavy winds, had become so saturated that the dampness permeated into the walls.
Since most of our children had moved out of the State of Washington anyway, we decided to look at the Southwest. (I am a Southwest Woman after all) and found our perfect home in Las Vegas. The size was about the same as the one we were moving from – that was important if it was going to hold all of our books (thousands of them) and our various sets of china, teapots, and figurines.
We have now lived in this house, which is near another one of my ethereal mountains, for almost 15 years. Yet I have had a great deal of difficulty coming up with a name for this wonderful home. It does have a great deal of spirituality in it, and it seems to respond to the love we are giving it.
I tried many names over the years, Solleone (Sun Lion); Avalon House; and Tuscan Gardens; however none seemed to work for me. But this year I have finally found the name that fits all of the house, the outside, the inside, and the love encircling it. A name that expresses our joy and happiness within its walls, plus recognizes the spiritual life of the house. We have named the house “Anam Cara Cottage” – Anam Cara is a Celtic word meaning “Soul Friend” and that is what we have found here. We are soul friends, with each other and with the house.
The Autumnal Equinox this year (2010) appeared on September 22nd and that is the day we designated as our “Official House Naming Day”. On that date we walked through the house with our Aspersorium (Holy Water Sprinkler) and burning Sage (the word sage – salvia – comes from the Latin word salvare, which translated means “To heal”) touching the doorway of each room and area and thanking God for the blessings He has given us by allowing us to live in this beautiful home.
So now our house has a name, the “Anam Cara Cottage”, and I am currently designing a plaque that will be put on the front of the house, just as they do in England.
Have you named your home yet???