Monday, November 22, 2010


Home has always been a very concrete thing for me.

For my entire life, my parents have lived in the city where I was born. They lived in several houses when I was a baby, but I only remember two houses. We moved into the second house when I was five, and my parents still live there. I even sleep in the same bedroom I had growing up (my siblings did some room switching), and not even our next-door neighbors have changed.

I didn't always see this as a blessing. I had the travel bug as a teenager (still do actually) and wanted to be anywhere but there when I graduated from high school. But now I see it as a blessing that I never had to be the new kid in school, I grew up with my grandparents and two of my dad's brothers (and their families) living within a mile of our house, and I can still go back and sit in the same pew at the church I was baptized in.

I feel like I've lived as a nomad since leaving home. There was a period of 20 months after the end of my sophomore year of college when I lived in four different cities and one city twice for four months at a time. I loved seeing and experiencing new places, but nowhere was ever home. All the essentials in my life were boiled down to what I could fit in my car or in two suitcases under the weight limit for flying.

When I moved to Georgia, I was banking on it being temporary. I was also closer to my parents than I had been in years and traveled back about once a month. Even though I ended up staying there 3.5 years, I never really felt like it became home.

When I moved to my current town, I was (1) farther from my parents' house and (2) determined to change my attitude and dig in deeper. And so I've found community, and a city where I would love to stay (who knows what God has in store, of course). Trips to my parents' house are infrequent and planned in advance. So I feel like I have made this more home than anywhere else since I left my parents' house.

But as I was planning and counting down the days to my trip to my parents' house, I realize that even if I feel like I've made a home somewhere else I can still be homesick.

Besides family and friends, here are some other things I enjoy at home:
  • Sally, my parents' golden retriever. I'm not ready for the responsibility of a dog, but I love the welcome I get from Sally when I enter my parents' house. Sidenote: My parents didn't get Sally until I graduated from high school, but I house-trained her as a puppy and give her lots of love when I'm home so she doesn't forget me.
  • A lifted burden. I am an independent girl, but there's something about going back to my parents' house and not having the responsibility on me. I know my Dad is going to lock up the house and the bills that come in aren't mine to pay. My mom does most of the grocery shopping, and and if a rodent gets in, my dad will come to the rescue.
  • A stocked kitchen. I've improved greatly in this area. My refrigerator used to look like it belonged to a flight attendant. But at my parents' house two refrigerators and freezers are stocked and you know there's always something to eat and drink.
  • The sounds of the house. I live by myself, and I love it. But I find it comforting to hear my family moving around the house when I'm here.
So I'm settling in and enjoying my time at home, but I know I will still look forward to returning to my apartment and the people and things that have become my "other home."


  1. but isn't it a little bit sad to be home without your older (and favorite?) sister?

  2. haha I love that the sisters' comments.

    Also, I'm very much the same. My parents live in the same house they built just after marrying. I tried for years to give my dad reasons why we should move...didn't have to be far, just less rural, near people (i.e. friends), and have always had the travel bug. But there is something so comforting about going back where I grew up, all of the family get-togethers since everyone lives within a couple of miles and we do it all of the time, etc. I think being away helps me appreciate it a lot more too.

  3. So true - all of it! I wonder when a house starts to feel like a home. Does it need more than one person so there's a sense of community? I love having my own place and living alone, but there is definitely something different about a house with a family in it.