Hi Family and Friends!
As some of you know and many of you don’t, I spent the last six weeks in the United States, visiting family and friends all over the country. What started as a weeklong trip to North Carolina with my in-laws turned into a whirlwind US Tour. I’m beyond grateful for the time I was able to spend with loved ones, and owe a HUGE thanks to my understanding, supportive hubby for holding down the fort in Kingston and encouraging me to enjoy the flexibility of this season to visit my nearest and dearest. I don’t think we’d been apart that long since our long distance dating days, and I’m thankful to once again be sleeping under the same roof as my handsome husband!
During my travels I spent a lot of time pondering the idea of “home”. I felt very much like a vagabond those six weeks—living out of a suitcase, wearing the same purple T-shirt for days on end, borrowing hair dryers and toothpaste and washing machines, sleeping in five different beds in four different states. People would say, “You’ve been gone so long! Are you excited to go home?” To be honest, I wasn’t sure. The thought of “going home” invoked a somewhat muddled image in my mind.
I started my trip in Oklahoma, on my grandparents’ farm, one of the closest places to heaven on earth. Childhood memories of hot dog roasts and Easter egg hunts and summer days at the creek make Oklahoma feel like home as much as any other place. My Mimi and Pawpaw are two of the people I love most in this world, and our kitchen table conversation, spades tournaments and Burger King lunches have shaped me into who I am today.
I also spent a few weeks in Omaha, my childhood home. As a kid, home was the little blue ranch on Hickory Street, with the brick mailbox and herb garden and red front door. But the house was torn down years ago, and now something bigger and newer stands in its place. My parents moved during my college years, so the house they now live in has only been my temporary home – a visiting spot for holidays and long weekends. Initially, I thought this might be strange – that it would be a house but not a home. But quickly I realized there is more love and joy and laughter in that house that any other place on earth and that creating new memories is equally as wonderful as cherishing old ones. So now, the orange brick two story with the winding sidewalk and blue-gray front door feels like home.
As I write, I am back in Kingston, thousands of miles away from home. But Kevin is here. And God is here. And with them my heart feels safe and loved and protected and happy. And although the country is foreign and the culture is different, we’re creating memories and sharing life, and growing into the people God wants us to be, which makes this feel like home as much as any other place.
These past several months, I’ve come to realize that home is not a city or a street or even a house. It’s the people you love and the people who love you. It’s the memories you create and carry within your heart. It's the friends you collect along the way. Home travels with you, in the part of your soul that makes you who you are. So no matter where you are or wherever you go, you’re never very far from home.
Kevin & Cass