Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Rich Life at Home

Growing up in Kokomo

I attended a Lenten Study at church recently. We were discussing the meanings we apply to the concept of “home.” Interestingly I had just run across a poem that reminded me of the very first home my husband and I ever owned. It was on ¾ of an acre in rural Indiana outside Fort Wayne. The home sat in the middle of a forest of trees and the backyard sported a fire pit and a basketball court. We were young with two toddlers and a baby on the way when we moved there. Reconnecting with that home reminded me of the richness of a life that spans over 70 years.

I’m surprised by the places where I’ve lived and traveled! Life began for me in Kokomo, Indiana, a place where I still feel connected. I called several cities home there before leaving for Virginia and a home close to Washington D.C. Then a giant move across the country to Phoenix, Arizona, where I’ve lived for the better part of 41 years with a brief sojourn living in Olympia, Washington. 

After traveling to nearly all of the 50 states, except for Alaska and Maine, and three foreign countries, I’ve come to know home not as a place, but as the people I love. It’s difficult to settle anywhere because those I love live “all over the place.” At times, I’ve longed to be “home for Christmas,” meaning not in the house where I live, but with the people I love. Haven’t you?

Obviously, I’ve chosen home to be with my husband Frank and our two Chihuahuas Peanut and Cleo here in Phoenix, Arizona. Everyone I love isn’t here, but I call it home anyway. What makes it home, I suppose, includes a community friends, familiar desert places, the plants I’ve planted, the rooms I’ve furnished and decorated with family pictures on the walls, lingering memories of patio picnics and gatherings by the pool and both the hot and the warm summer days unfolding all year round.

My Phoenix home encompasses love, comfort and safety along with rest and retreat. However, I know I still carry the best of home around with me in my heart.