On Wednesday I drove into my own garage.  I walked into my house.  I ate in my kitchen (a meal prepared by my husband to continue the spoiling) and I got into my own bed.  It is all familiar and oh so welcomed.  What is it about climbing into our own bed after being away for a long time that is so comforting?  I think it is that it is familiar.

The Look Up from Dictionary.com:



1. commonly or generally known or seen: a familiar sight.

2. well-acquainted; thoroughly conversant: to be familiar with a subject.

3. informal; easygoing; unceremonious; unconstrained: to write in a familiar style.

4. closely intimate or personal: a familiar friend; to be on familiar terms.

5. unduly intimate; too personal; taking liberties; presuming: The duchess disliked familiar servants.

6. domesticated; tame.

7. of or pertaining to a family or household.


8. a familiar friend or associate.

9. Witchcraft and Demonology .

            a.an animal, as a cat, that embodies a supernatural spirit and aids a witch in performing magic.

            b.familiar spirit.

10. Roman Catholic Church .

            a.an officer of the Inquisition, employed to arrest accused or suspected persons.

            b.a person who belongs to the household of the pope or of a bishop, rendering domestic though not menial service.

4. Familiar, confidential, intimate  suggest a long association between persons. Familiar  means well-acquainted with another person: a familiar friend. Confidential  suggests a sense of mutual trust that extends to the sharing of confidences and secrets: a confidential adviser. Intimate  suggests close acquaintance or connection, often based on interest, sympathy, or affection: intimate and affectionate letters. 5.  forward, bold.

Example Sentences

The players not only compete, they enact a familiar ceremony that reaffirms common values.

Though seemingly irrational, this pattern of faculty politics is familiar to anyone who has worked in a university.

I believe familiar is commonly thought of as comforting today rather than the definitions of 9 and 10.  I have many things that I find familiar.

I love driving over the Delaware Memorial Bridge and knowing that I am only 17 +/- miles to home.  I love driving over the Trenton Bridge and knowing that I am only 17 +/- miles to the cottage.  Both are familiar to me and points of place that say rest is near.

When I am tired or upset or need to relax and am looking for a familiar it is the Hudson Bay Blanket and my favorite chair with the current book.  It occurs to me that this is kind of scary really as it may say that I am an adult with a comforting blankie?

The scent of a rose – just the right scent – can take me back to Seawall and the moss roses that grow there in the summer.  Seeing a dahlia usually sends me on a mind trip to Auntie’s garden where she grew the most beautiful dahlias.  A peony sends my visual to my mother-in-laws yard and the row of peony’s that separated her from her neighbors.  The sound of a horn playing taps usually places me at summer camp and ready for night.  Familiar.  Comforting. Restful.

Interesting isn’t it how familiar sights, scents and sounds allow us to remember and renew?  What is your familiar?  Think about it. 

As I write this it comes to me that in order to appreciate any of this we have to be quiet in our lives.  We have to shut out the noise of the world.  We have to allow ourselves to be still and listen and appreciate.  I am learning.



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