Home June 15, 2007

I hate that sappy platitude: home is where your heart is.

Whenever I hear it I immediately think I fell asleep and somehow ended up in the final scene of Where the Heart Is, the movie adaptation of Billie Letts’ beautiful book by the same name.

(I always cry. EVERY time.)

The movie is a little hokey, but I love it (and, also, I secretly want to be Ashley Judd. Who doesn’t?). Recently, though, clinging to the “home is where your heart is” idea has been something comforting, I tell you.

We been moving (see earlier post on garage sale drama). It’s a sort of interim move, as we’ve embarked now on a rather ambitious building project (just a foreshadowing of future posts . . . ), and are hoping to move into our new space, well, as soon as possible.

In the meantime, we’re making our home in someone else’s house. It’s perfect for our family this summer. And, by coincidence, we really like the people who own it, who happen to be gone for the summer (Craigslist strikes again!).

But it doesn’t quite feel like home.

I know that this feeling is perfectly understandable, but disconcerting nonetheless. Mark’s solution is to keep telling himself this is our “summer house”. So far that has not worked for me. I just can’t find everything I need; the whole situation feels like a nice pair of shoes that are not broken in yet.

I’d been living with this discomfort for a week or so when the kids and I embarked on a summer reading adventure. Because of the layout of the summer house we are not spending as much time in front of the television, and we’d decided together to read The Hiding Place out loud. I was curled up with three increasingly large children and one (also pretty large now) dog, reading a story that captured my imagination when I was their ages. They asked questions occasionally as I read; I read aloud (just one more page!), all the while acutely aware that times like these are for cherishing.

And that’s when I realized: I am home. Surrounded by people I love, sharing experiences that permanently plant themselves in memories, feeling little warm bodies next to me, hearing their curious comments (“What does ‘irretrievable‘ mean again?”), recognizing the satisfaction of sharing something I love with people I love . . . that’s when you’re home, really.


No matter how long it takes to find the salt and pepper.

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