Happy is the house the shelters a friend

How “happy is the house that shelters a friend” inspired a leap of faith

How do you create a happy home? Is that even possible? Many years ago, I found myself looking for a place where I could finish raising my children, and the idea of creating a happy home was especially at the forefront of my mind. We needed a tranquil home base.

I remember the day I first discovered the house featured in my memoir “A Place Called Home.” Even though it was more than 30 years ago, I still remember how I felt – a mixture of emotions, excited, hopeful, and a little scared too.

“Through a little research of my own, I discovered that the house had been built in the early 1900s and had over 3,000 square feet of living space. My mind swirled with the possibilities of things we could do there. What an adventure living there might be for us. Yet one daunting question lingered in my mind: how could a newly divorced woman with limited funds, one child in college, and one in high school ever afford such a charming old place? The house would probably be much too big to manage and much too expensive to rent.”

Excerpt from A Place Called Home: A Memoir, by Sharon Grace Smith

As I previewed the house with my mother, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote came to me – “Happy is the house that shelters a friend.” Clearly, the house was too big for just my daughters and me, but perhaps others were going through a personal transition in their life that would enjoy living here as well.

Soon, our house did become home to a group of people who ultimately became a caring community of friends. Emerson’s quote gave me the leap of faith to rent the house, but you’ll have to read the book to find out how I went about allowing perfect strangers into our home.

May your house, no matter how big or small, always be a place where you can kick off your shoes, laugh a little, feel joy, and be safe.


Sharon Smith was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest (USA); owned a healthcare uniform business for many years. She also lived in Japan and presently resides in Michigan. She blogs about her experiences and shared observations touching on culture, lifestyle, and the people around her.

Sharon Grace Smith, author

A Place Called Home - A Memoir is Available Now

A story of faith, family, and one woman's path toward finding herself and her future by opening her home to strangers.

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