Friday, July 07, 2006

The Name Game

In an ongoing attempt to sell or give away what we don't need, I came across a set of videotapes about grand houses on English estates. There is a tape devoted to each house, and the names are quite engaging. Penhurst Place. (I like the alliteration.) Goodwood House. Broadlands. Breamore House. Stratfield Saye. Arundel Castle. (Finally, a house that admits its true identity. I think all the others are really castles and won't admit it. Kind of like the Bar Harbor mansions calling themselves "cottages.") Wilton. Sutton Place. Chartwell. Finally, one of my favorites - Uppark. (I read that as "You Park" and it sounds like a downtown garage in Bangor.)

It takes creativity to name a house, that's for sure. When we bought this house, we had lived in parsonages for 8 years, and the whole idea of owning our own home again was exciting. The fact that we bought the house and didn't move in for 1-1/2 years added to the mystery and intrigue. The house existed more in our memories and imaginations than it did in our daily lives.

I wanted to name it, of course.

My first thought was Snowflake House. The Victorian gingerbread, painted white, reminded me of snow, one of the reasons we were moving to New England. Something was lacking with that name, however. It never flowed easily off my tongue, as if every time I started to say it, I had to think for a moment what it actually was.

My next name was a good old English manor name - Addington. Now, that had a stately ring to it, didn't it? Addington. Of course, nothing could be so clear-cut in origin, and the reason I chose Addington was my assertion that "we were adding on to the house and it was costing a ton." Well, that didn't stick either, probably because I knew that every time I said the word, I would be reminding myself of all the expense, and who wants to be reminded of that? Anyway, as much as the house has been reduced to its cost and selling price in the last couple of years, I'm glad I ditched "Addington" because it degrades the house somewhat, carving its identity out of dollar signs.

We finally did agree on a name, though. It wasn't long after we moved in 10 years ago. The chosen name was short, succinct, full of significance, and came easily to the lips. We called it Home.


Cuidado said...

Very cute!

Malakela said...

Good post -- satisfying ending too. I like a happy ending.
Miss Meg