any shelter, lodging, or dwelling place
the act of one who houses or puts under shelter

I’ve been frantically thinking, texting, and talking a lot about housing lately.  An internship for this upcoming summer would only work out if I could find a place to live for the duration of the internship – within a week.  I work best in specifics, so I don’t think it helped that the vague term “housing” could mean “any” place I could find to live.

“I would live under a bridge to make this internship work,” I joked to several people – and I half meant it, too.  This was my dream internship: an editorial position with a small company close to home that had connections to the larger publishing industry.  The interview process was nerve-wracking precisely because I wanted it so much, and I was so happy when I got the job, that to have it rescinded because I couldn’t find a distant cousin willing to let me live in their attic for the summer didn’t bear thinking of.  It frustrated me that I had too many options, rather than not enough, because it meant I had to investigate more of them, and choose from several, and investigation and choosing took time.

Eventually it worked out that I’ll be staying with the Engineer’s grandparents, for which I am exceedingly grateful.  I grew up in a home with a mother who is, as the Southern Belle put it, “an honorary Southern lady,” so I know the depth of true hospitality.  Housing someone is not just allowing them to sleep under your roof.  It is protecting, sheltering, providing a haven.  It’s appropriate that the word can be both a verb and a noun.  I will be housed.  I have found housing.  And someday, I hope, I can house and shelter and protect guests of my own.

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