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Weekend Agenda: Exploring a New "Home" with Gretchen Powers

Gretchen Powers, longtime friend of the brand and CustoMiiR partner, shares her thoughts on "home." From her recent move from Alaska to Hawaii, to embracing a new normal given the limited social interaction abilities, to being a steward of our home planet, Gretchen invites us to reflect on the concept of home being a feeling and not a physical location.

Also exciting: Gretchen and fellow MiiR content contributor Anna Brones collaborated on a new custom designed Tumbler! Shop it here, and explore our entire color collection here. In this piece, the featured products are the Camp Cup, 20oz Wide Mouth Bottle, and 23oz Narrow Mouth Bottle in our new color, Home.

We also invite you to follow along on Gretchen's continued journey on her Instagram.


What is home? Is it a place, a person or a feeling?

When I started writing this piece for MiiR, I was reflecting about my new home on Oahu: the sights, sounds, flavors and flowers that made up this new island. My wife is in the U.S. Coast Guard and we move every few years for her job. We moved in June from Kodiak, Alaska to Honolulu, Hawaii.

In my 2018 piece I wrote for MiiR shortly after moving to Kodiak, AK I wrote: “Sometimes home is found in the littlest things and being brave and bold is possible if you say yes to the opportunities that will push you past the edge of your comfort zone...yes to faceplanting into the things that scare you the most."

During such an isolating, immobile season as I’ve experienced thus far in 2020, I’ve found home in the little things like nights in playing games with my wife, the scent of a favorite candle, and snuggles from my pup. I’ve also found home by caring about big things like the way climate change and plastic pollution affect our day to day lives. When I pulled off the faucet to install our water filter, I found micro plastics against the faucet. It’s in the water everywhere. When we took our first post-quarantine steps onto the beach, I remarked to my wife Kaleigh, “Look at the seaglass! Just like on Kodiak!” Only to have her respond, “no love, that’s plastic." I gasped, looked closer and picked up piece by piece of chalky, tiny, plastic bits in an assortment of pastel-toned colors that permeated every inch of that white sandy beach.

Home is a place you can drive to the grocery store without a GPS, where you have people to call if you need help, where you feel an actual member of the makeup of the local community.

I got on my first airplane since moving to Hawaii two weeks ago to fly home to Alaska for some photo jobs. When I landed at the Kodiak airport, exited the plane, and looked at the same mountain I looked at every day for 2.5 years, I felt like a piece of my soul re-entered my body and I laughed out loud, a childlike giggle coming out a little too loudly. Glancing my way, the flight attended laughed with me and said, “Isn’t it beautiful here?” 

Home is where you recognize every rock and ridge on your favorite trail, where the coffee shop knows your order and where you can’t go to the grocery store without running into someone you know. It’s where you wear your favorite clothes –- in my case flannels and sweaters and xtra tuffs.

But as I’m sitting at my desk back in Oahu, I’m realizing that home can also be the place you play 14 games of cribbage with your wife, one for every day of quarantine as you watch your pup play with the neighbor-dogs in the yard. Where you trade baked goods with your neighbors and share salt, tamari, and baking powder. Where you celebrate birthdays just the few of you and it feels good. Where you explore new surroundings, jungles and waterfalls. 

Home is where your feet are. Sink in, lean into it, and find the joy that is there in that moment with you. Take care of that space, care for the people, animals and plants that inhabit it. 

Anna Brones created a paper cut for Gretchen's online storefront Powers Provisions in 2019 that encapsulated the home she finds in the PNW / Alaska: fir trees, rocky coastlines, and all. This fall, Anna cut for Gretchen a new home: one with monstera, banana leaves, tropical islands, and ocean waves that is available in our new Prismatic colorway as a 12oz Tumbler. Shop it here.

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