lifestyle · personal · Portraits

the HOME project.


What does that word mean to you?  What thoughts and feelings come up when you hear or think of the word?

A few definitions and phrases I found on home:

~ a place where something flourishes, is most typically found, or from which it originates

~ a familiar or usual setting : congenial environment

~ the social unit formed by a family living together

~ one’s place of residence

~ ‘home is wherever I’m with you’


My friend Shun-Luoi and I were talking about doing a coinciding project throughout 2013, something to keep us creative and active in our own photography and videography.  Without knowing it, we both had the idea of “home” on our minds.  The goal is to interview an individual (or possibly a couple/family/etc.) on what home means to them. We will each post a story every other week for the next year…creating a project of  26 short stories on home.  I’m excited to do this project because it’s something that gets me out of my comfort zone. It requires me to be pro-active, to find people who might be willing to share a bit about themselves by answering this question. My personal goal is to have at least half of my stories come from complete strangers. I’m really looking forward to hearing the variety of answers that people from different walks of life come up with, and to share with you!

the HOME project #1: SUSAN

My first story comes from Susan. I met Susan on the Eastern Shore of Kauai, Hawaii. She was walking along the sandy beach while watching the surfers catching waves, crashing, and fearlessly paddling back for more.  I, too, was mesmerized by their courage. The waves that day looked rough, and although I’ve never surfed, I can only imaging the physical strength it takes (and even more-so, the mental strength!) to face the pulling tides and rough seas on a small wooden board.

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Susan shared with me that she became a widow a few years back, and her only child, now an adult, lives in Kauai.

She calls Oregon home. When I asked her what home is to her, she told me about her house that she owns, and that she’s thought about moving to Kauai to be near her son, but she can not part from her big garden. She said she wouldn’t be able to grow in Hawaii what she’s able to grow at home. This year, she started growing potatoes in raised beds, among other things, and to her surprise, she produced a bountiful harvest of potatoes – so many that she did not even know what to do with. For Susan home is a place.  Home is Oregon. It is her home and her garden that brings her much joy…and gives her a place to call her own.  She gets to travel with her adventurous son on occasion, and visits him every year in Kauai…but she is happy with her life at home in the Pacific Northwest.

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Susan walks the shoreline watching her son ride the crystal blue waves on a warm and sunny day…the perfect time, she said, to leave rainy, cold Oregon for a month long visit to Kauai.

For more stories on HOME, check back here every other week…and check out Shun-Luoi’s first interview today on his blog!


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