There's No Place Like ...

The founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, once said: "Home is not a place. It is a power."

If your family is like mine, (changing our address often enough to get Christmas cards from North American Van Lines), her statement is likely to ring true.

In the pursuit of a "better" place, you can buy a condo closer to work. Get a bigger yard, or a house with an in-law suite. These are steps that may outwardly qualify as progress.

But be it chateau or shanty, it's only a forward step if the new locale enhances the quality of relationships and empowers those who live there.

A move into a house with more than one bathroom, depending on the circumstances, could qualify as such an advance. One of Aristotle's little known postulates of physics states that two adults plus a preening teenager cannot safely occupy the same volume of space, if that space has only one bathroom.

Clearly, the Greek luminary was a parent.

It is my hope that the new weekly Homefront section will also be seen as a compelling enhancement to the lives of our readers, becoming a source of ideas, conversation, and humor - a practical pull-out section that gives you, your family, and neighbors a sense of dominion over the domain.

This week's cover story by David Holmstrom explores the boom in summer reunions and looks at how families in a transient society (1 in every 6 Americans moves each year) are gathering to forge bonds that go beyond a shared surname.

Single adults sans kids, stay with us. This won't be a squishy, June and Ward Cleaveresque guide to all things family. Sure, we'll get into stuff like Patricia Lesesne's first-person Parenting column on Page B3, where she tells how a single mom leaps the abyss of school vacation.

On the same page, young teens can conquer summer boredom by caring for pythons, handling Chilean rose-haired tarantulas, and ladling soup - although not necessarily in that order.

But you don't have to wear a wedding band nor have spent all your disposable income on baby sitters to appreciate the rapture of nature's greatest berry and food editor John Young's Cold Strawberry Soup on this page.

For those who don't appreciate the backyard dining habits of Bambi & friends and find themselves driven to outbursts that probably wouldn't be described as terms of "endeerment," our Resident Experts column on Page B2 offers a potential solution.

Each week, we'll pitch your questions about home repair, gardening, cooking, family legal issues, and similar household queries to the appropriate experts.

And if you've ever wondered why the high-priced roses you give to your sweetheart seldom smell as good as they look, visit Page B8. April Austin has the nose-how to take you shopping for plants to endow your home and garden with the right scents.

* We're home, and the door is open. Please stop in and let us know how we're doing. Write to Homefront Editor, One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115 or e-mail

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