Here is our home. This is what we tried to create — a hospitable place. A place where you could bring your kids and your dog and still feel comfortable. For four years now we’ve hosted family get-togethers and birthday parties, small groups and sleepovers.

The fireplace never got finished. We still need to put chinking between the logs. We were planning on staying here til the kids were grown and gone so there really wasn’t much hurry.

I try and picture the house without us in it.

It makes me a little sad.

But I know that we are the spirit of a house. That without us in it, the home is gone from the house.

We had all sorts of good times at the little cabin in the Ochoco Mountains. We loved sitting in the hot tub under the stars, showshoeing in the moonlight, and watching the kids play in the creek and swing from the trees.

The next Harris house will be filled with us — which means laughter, friends, family, read-aloud stories, hugs, kisses, prayers, creativity, Cardomom-prune scones, strong coffee, applesauce pancakes, beer-cheese soup, biscuits, and when there’s a sale at the Groc-out (Grocery Outlet), wine aplenty.

When we were building the house, my grandparents stayed for a week in the cabin next door to it. The whole family would come to the house to work. I usually created the meals in the cabin next door. By the end of the week, the little cabin felt more like home than the house we were building.

It’s the meals together. It’s good times. It’s togetherness.

Home is where your family happens to be in this life. It comes in all shapes and sizes. But its essence is the same: Paul, Danielle, Elsa, Greta, Ingrid, and Dagne, and the friends and family who share with us.