I have three homes; my dad’s, my mom’s, and my own. My mom’s home, conveniently located a mere 2.8 miles from my dad’s, is my childhood dwelling. It is in that three-bedroom ranch that I built forts from dining room chairs, lost teeth, acquired a taste for vegetables, and brought to light the Santa Claus Conspiracy.
My dad’s home, purchased when I was 13, is a ten-acre slice of heaven. Tucked back in the woods, it offers moderate seclusion with the convenience of a 5-minute skip to town. Our abode is plopped atop a hill overlooking a teeny no-wake lake amongst a barn, a garden, and some forest. It’s lush, vast, and down-right magical.
Post-college, I’ve continued making the familiar 50-minute trek nearly every two weeks. Hit the three-week mark, and any longer feels like decades. I’ve found this uncommon among my peers, save for those whose parents live nearby. But home is sanctuary—it means shelter from life’s stickiness, an opportunity to reset, and a guaranteed good time. Most importantly, it means family. Going home will never lose its allure.
I visited our farm this weekend to celebrate both of my sisters’ birthdays. Celebrations in our home require no special occasion. A birthday, however, offers a day-long marathon of eating, drinking and general merriment. I arrived Saturday morning to a methodical assembly line of Jell-O shot preparation, a grocery list packed with enough carbohydrates to fuel the Midwest, and our well-stocked bar on stand-by. I also arrived to an onslaught of hugs and kisses.
Home is my personal paradise.
It’s sensory overload. Visually, a magnificent flush of color. Aromatically, wholly intoxicating. Physically, arresting. The landscape is a physical manifestation of a Monet masterpiece. Then, enter the front door and you’re pummeled with warm hugs, classic rock, the smell of goat, gut-busting laughter, early afternoon cocktails, too much food, television crime dramas, cat-fights, unexpected visitors, and sexual innuendos.
But home’s most notable quality; it’s filled with love.
And adding to it’s majesty is the decapitated chipmunk, strategically placed on our doormat by one of our sweet, purring death-machines. As if to say, “Welcome home. We’ve missed you.”