There’s No Place Like Home


House in Summer copy“When you look into my eyes
And you see the crazy gypsy in my soul
It always comes as a surprise
When I feel my withered roots begin to grow
Well I never had a place that I could call my very own
That’s all right, my love, ’cause you’re my home”       Billy Joel  You’re My Home

Epigrams about Home:

“There’s no place like Home.”
“Home is where the heart is.”

 

Or as I wrote once for an ad for our church:  “Home is where you go to make sense out of life. Family are those who love you while you look for the answers. (The ending tag line for the ad: Come home to First Church, a Family of Faith. “)

Harbor copyHome.  Safety, love, comfort, celebration, the gathering place for family, a haven from the troubles of the world, the welcoming beacon to the wandering soul.

Home is iconic in that while it can be as individual as we are, a city dwelling, a farm, a house in the suburbs, a condo or apartment, it stirs within us memories of childhood, of family.  For some, those memories are of warmth and love, for others, recollections of conflict and heartache, for many they hold some combination of the two.

architecture apartment copy

 

Doug and I have shared seven homes in our long marriage, alone in an apartment as newlyweds, three with just our son, three with our children, (one in a cottage at the church camp on Lake Erie where Doug ministered, one we lived in for 28 years,  during the kids’ school years where we sheltered them until they were grown and gone) Houses on Water Street copyand now, a house in a historic little town on the Albemarle Sound where they come with our grandchildren to visit with us and our dog. Some will always hold a place in my heart, some have just been a roof over our heads.

No matter the construction or the size, home is ultimately a state of mind, a place to love and be loved.

After many years of conflict and fights that erupted seemingly out of the air in our house, my father’s job with the Air Force was moved the summer I graduated from high school. My mother chose not to move with him from Utica, New York to Norman, Oklahoma.  So, when I left home to go to college, I bid farewell to the house I had grown up in and when I returned for the Thanksgiving holiday we didn’t live there anymore.

2 paths copy

No walking down our road, rural enough not to have sidewalks, on which we could even skate in winter on the ice that would cover it.. No yard where we played and looked for four-leaf clovers and buried dead birds, or frogs, with solemn services and crosses made from twigs. No woods whose paths I had wandered finding escape and joy. No creek. No blackberries. No crabapple tree.

For a very long time, it was the home I missed the most.

buffaloBut leaving was also freedom! No longer the monkey in the middle of my parents’ fights, trying to make my mother laugh and calm her resentment, no intervening with my father so he would belittle me instead of her.

Replacing that: the University of Buffalo; learning, new books, thoughts and ideas; a new place to explore with new friends; time with my stern grandmother, other relatives, and wonderfully with my favorite aunt and uncle and cousins in this place my parents grew up; and ultimately, most importantly, Doug.

It was only later, after our son was born, when the Air Force moved my mom to Kansas City and there was no one to go and stay with there, that I realized my home was no longer Utica, nor was it Buffalo, though it holds a special home-like place in my heart. Open Door copyMy true home was the love I had for Doug and the family that grew from that love.

Stephanie Perkins says, “For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.”

Seriously looking at retirement means very soon we will look to find a new place to live. This time, for the first time ever, ii will be in a house we choose that will actually belong to us….with at least a little garden for Nessa and me. We’re not there yet, we haven’t even looked yet, but I can feel it beckoning to us.
Sunset from the Courthouse copy

I will miss lovely Edenton, walks at the harbor at sunset, the quaint and stately old houses, the sense of an earlier, simpler time that permeates every second of living here.

I know I will be nostalgic for the fireworks over the water for the 4th, the Peanut Festival, the Christmas parade, the trolley ambling though the town telling tourists the history of this first capital of the state. I will miss the charm of rocking chairs on porches, the carillon at the Baptist Church playing old hymns at noon and six, and chiming away the hours in-between. I will miss my garden and the Arts in the Garden events and the Pilgrimage Tours, and most of all, my church family.

photo-8But when we do move to Raleigh, just like my move to Buffalo for college, this move will be a life changing one. It will be adventures into new opportunities, an exploration of where God is calling us next.

I know it will start when we pull up the roots we sank ever so deeply here and slowly grow them in our new place. But this move, like every move, will still lead us where we need to go, and this move closer to our family, like every move with Doug always leads me home.

“No matter where we roam, for always and forever you’re my home.”  (Love you…and yes, I do get to post your picture!}

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About joanneeddy

Writer living in North Carolina. Originally from upstate New York. I love my family, my community, and my friends, and embrace 'living deliberately' in the world, trying to make a difference. I have written an as yet unpublished book, The Call, an epic fantasy with historical fiction and folklore elements. My blog is for other writers, for those who love a good read, and for all who, like me, are looking to find and live their call.
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12 Responses to There’s No Place Like Home

  1. Robyn Haynes says:

    Joanne this is a lovely post. You remind us, your fellow bloggers, of the truly important things in life. That beautiful home of your childhood lives on in your memory.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very nice. You are right home can be anywhere. When we retired we moved from Oklahoma to AZ. My family is in Oklahoma and we knew no one here. But we love it and this is home. I do enjoy returning to my parents home. Which is where they have lived for over 50 years. My husband on the other hand moved frequently. So we see both sides. Wing and Roots.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Joanne, I love your beautiful tribute to your awesome husband. It’s such a touching expression of love and what home really is. I’m excited for your new upcoming adventure! Home is a place that nicely accommodates our needs. Doug has been the huge heart and internal space for you to dwell in with all the necessary accommodations for you to abide well and thrive.I would add, though we grow attached to the places of our childhood with all the memories they hold, home was also wherever mom was, as we abided in her always.Her huge heart held us always, and where she was never really mattered in many ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joanneeddy says:

      You are so right. Actually, Gretchen gave me a small plaque I treasure that reads: “Home is where your mom is.” I will send you an email with some more thoughts.

      Like

    • joanneeddy says:

      Oh…remember how I loved the mythology section in the Utica Library? One of my favorite stories was Baucus and Philemon, an old couple who offered hospitality to Zeus and Mercury. As a reward they asked not to be separated by death. The gods built a temple where they worshipped them and when one of them died they were transformed into intertwined trees. I thought even then, as a child, that I wanted that kind of marriage. And I do. Pretty remarkable.

      Like

  4. Bernadette says:

    Home is where the heart is. Mathis has never been more eloquently illustrated than what I have just now read.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mariaholm says:

    Your post brings me back to the time when I had to leave Sweden 21 years ago, I took a trip to the city the day before we left for good. I never thought I could do without the wooden houses I liked so much. Now I go back to visit my oldest son who lives there and the old feeling of belonging there has left as my home is here in Denmark. I like your positive thoughts on the future home you haven’t yet found

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Clive says:

    A lovely piece, Jo. You’re so right to say that home isn’t necessarily a physical place, although having somewhere good to live does help! Home is what you create, and I’m sure your forthcoming retirement will lead to another embodiment of what home is for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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