Today, my new house felt like home for the first time.

I had been growing more comfortable with this place throughout the week — my little treasures are all finding a place, I’m sleeping a little better, and minor issues, like a leaky pipe behind the washer, don’t make me cry (like last week).

But today, after sleeping in, laying in bed and reading for a while, and staying in my pajamas until noon, something changed. A friend was coming over for lunch, and as I made preparations for her arrival, the house became transformed. This time when I cleaned, it was my dirt I was wiping away, not some former owners’. When I started cooking, everything was right where I expected it. And when the smells started filling the house — lentil soup from a recipe I now have memorized, homemade wheat and honey bread, cranberry scones — these smells were familiar smells. The ones that have meant home to me for the last several years. Now, these smells were filling a house I own.

But the real moment this house felt like home was when my friends arrived and we enjoyed this place together. They both commented on the smells when they walked in, and as we set down to share a meal, the few boxes left to unpack, the windows still needing to be covered with plastic, and the drywall that’s waiting to be repaired really didn’t cross my mind for a few hours.

Finally, I am home.