On my lunch break, I once again found myself reading "A Homemade Life" by Molly Wizenberg, once again drooling over the recipes and weeping over her love story. This time around, I was particularly struck by the fact that she and her now-husband spent the first year of their relationship living on opposite coasts, and thought about ways to make a long-distance love seem not quite so...distant.
Everyday Objects: Though romantic gifts are always appreciated, giving your darling a beautiful, practical object means that you'll be a part of their everyday home life. Salt & pepper shakers, sheets, a coffee mug- something they'll use everyday, and think of you every time.
Chore Time: It can be tempting for visits to just be lovey-dovey vacation-time, but if you let the dishes and laundry build up, you'll be all alone at the end of the visit, and your house will be a wreck. Depressing! Doing household tasks can be fun, and if you do end up actually living together someday, you won't be in for such a shock: "I didn't realize there'd be dishes to do.."
Cross-Country Cooking: Cooking together can be one of the great joys of living together, but if your kitchens are separated by miles and miles, it's not possible most days. Experimenting with the same dishes (fresh pasta, homemade pizza, tamales) or ingredients (especially exciting seasonal produce) can make you feel closer come suppertime. Send photos & recipes, and dos & (especially) don'ts!
Full-Size Toiletries: Leaving full-size versions of your favorite toiletries at each other's houses has many benefits. The traveling party doesn't have to try to squeeze all the necessary potions into tiny bottles & ziplock bags, and the visited party gets the cozy feeling that the visitor will indeed be returning. (And let's admit, it's so nice to be able to smell your love's shampoo or cologne when they're far away.)
Periodical Visits: Subscribing to a magazine together is so fun. You read it before your honey arrives, send it with her for the plane or train trip home (you always need more reading material, I find), and then you can discuss!
Mix Tapes: Sharing music, discussing and debating music, sending each other mix tapes (or whatever the modern equivalent is), it's all so necessary. Your baby's tastes and tracks will become part of the soundtrack of your home.
Sneakin' Around: Hiding gifts, notes, and photos around the house means your darling will find little tokens of your affection long after you've left, and won't feel quite so lonely. Or you can hide sweet nothings in your departing sweetie's luggage, or treats in their carry-on. I love the idea of having a luggage tag custom made with a special message, and sneaking it onto their suitcase. They might not notice your love-note until check-in time at the airport, just when they need it most.
What ways have you found of making a long-distance love a part of your home? How do you create and keep a close and cozy feeling when you're far away?