Contributed by Cindi Pearce, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
The expression “Keep the home fires burning” means that someone keeps things on track at home or at a place when another person is away.
The expression is comparable to “Hold down the fort.”
This expression is an idiom, which means an expression that cannot be understood from the individual meanings of the words. An idiom is a regional way of speaking.
There are presently thousands of men and woman who are keeping the home fires burning while their spouse or child or parent is serving in the military overseas. Here are the top ten ways to keep the home fires burning:
10. To you kids out there:
Clean up that mess that you and your fellow revelers made while mom and dad were out of town. Yes, you surely did keep the home fires burning in your parents’ absence. It’s a wonder that you didn’t burn down the house. Now get out that mop, wash those dishes and grub out the debris that was left behind before mom and dad walk in the front door. P.S. Don’t do it again.
9. Tend a garden
If your mother (or father) is not home because she is serving in the military or working far away from home, plant that garden that she religiously plants every spring. You can consider it a victory garden. When she hears that you carried on the tradition and are digging and planting, watering, fertilizing, harvesting crops and working up a sweat, she is going to be tickled pink and proud of you. Can or freeze some of the garden vegetables for her, so she can taste your garden morsels when she returns. P.S. Take a picture of yourself in the garden and send it to her.
8. Support the grieving
When someone dies, the people left behind must keep the home fires burning, even though they may be struggling with grief and sorrow. If you know of someone who has been widowed or lost a loved one, step in and help them keep the home fires burning. Your efforts and kindness will be appreciated.
7. Buy fuel
Literally keep fuel in the furnace or a fire in the fireplace. People must stay warm.
6. Take photos of the kids
If someone has had to leave a young child behind, regularly take pictures of the child and, if possible, send pictures to the parent. Babies change so rapidly that it’s a good idea to keep track of the changes via photographs and videos. Parents hate missing out on their baby’s first step or first word. Put together photo albums and scrapbooks to document this for the parent so that he doesn’t as though he is missing out.
5. Keep a journal
Keep a daily journal of what happened while the person was away. Give it to them upon their return. Fill it with good stuff, although you can toss in some of the not-so-good occurrences but use your sense of humor and make the person smile and laugh when reading about the activities, even when they weren’t so pleasant.
Use Skype, email, Facebook or whatever is available to you to keep in touch with the person who is far away. Send a good old-fashioned piece of snail mail to them, including pictures, poems and newspaper clippings, copies of a child’s schoolwork or grade card, or anything that is going to cheer them up and make them feel as though they are still a part of the home and family, even though they are far away. People get homesick, even adults. Staying in touch, assuring that person that you are keeping the home fires burning is going to help them relax and stop worrying and enable them to stay focused on the job at hand.
Say a prayer, every night, for the person who isn’t present. Ask for that person’s guardian angel to stay with him and protect him on his journeys.
2. Manage the daily routine
Even though this is not routinely your job, when someone is absent, a family or group must pick up the slack and carry on. Pay the bills regularly and on time. Water the house plants. Mow the grass. Feed the dog. Do all the things that person would be doing if he were present.
1. Pull together
Families come together when a member is called upon to serve in the military. Fathers who stay behind take on the responsibility of both mother and father and vice versa. Grandparents often step in and take care of children while the parent or parents are serving in the military. This is a huge responsibility. Whoever assumes the job of “parent” while the actual parent is overseas keeps the home fires burning so that the children feel safe and secure and can live as normal a life as possible.
Bravo to these individuals who are there to comfort children whose parent or parents are in a foreign land and in a potentially dangerous situation.