Our family has been on quite a journey the past three years. We have moved five times, bouncing from three cities spanning across a six-state area in the eastern United States. During that period, I also often found myself living away from home four to five days per week.
Besides getting new licenses, reregistering cars, filing multiple tax returns, tracking down missing mail, and countless other little associated tasks, being unsettled became the new norm. This is not all bad as it really brings home how great it is to simply be home!
Sometimes, until you are without something or living on the other side of the fence, you do not really appreciate simple blessings in life. This is not to say that a traveling salesperson or professional athlete cannot find happiness while spending a great deal of time on the road, but I am guessing that, like me, they truly better appreciate the comforts of home.
For the first seven months of this journey, I lived out of a suitcase—albeit a very large one. Each week, I would pack up with the precision of a Navy Seal, fly off to Buffalo, and return home five days later. This provided a brief window to launder clothes and repeat the cycle once again.
I can distinctly recall the feeling of anticipation that would envelop me as I awaited the return flight and then the excitement that would rise within me as I drove home from the airport. I was usually dead tired after a trying week, but the adrenaline pumped me up and put a bounce in my step.
It was “déjà vu all over again” when I recently performed a similar dance to another city for eight months. Although this time it was close enough to avoid air travel and a heavy parka, I would feel that same unmistakable feeling of excitement build as my car got closer to home on the three-hour drive.
Arriving home was always extra special when I was greeted at the door knowing that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” on both sides. Of course, it was better for me as I was regaining the comforts of being surrounded by our own stuff and sleeping in my own bed.
As a famous fictional character in red shoes once proclaimed, there is truly “no place like home.”
The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. —Maya Angelou
This is an excerpt from Joy All Around Us