Home

Dorothy sang about it. She crooned that, somewhere “over the rainbow” a land that she’d heard of existed. Something better than what she had, which was a black and white world where mean old biddies came and took innocent little doggies, because they could. 

Two hours later, or a little more, Dorothy had the whole thing figured out. She clicked her heels together and said what we’d all like to believe, “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”

My daughter came over today. She brought my grandson with her and that alone made her visit doubly-good. Like an Oreo with extra cream in the middle. While here, she ate a little something out of our refrigerator. She always does. We no longer live in the house she grew up in and the fridge is no longer the one she opened time and again during those years, but she somehow thinks she has rights to the new one in the new place, nonetheless.

After she’d eaten, she went into the master bath–the one where she keeps an extra toothbrush–to brush her teeth.

As instructed on previous visits, she leaves the toothbrush out to “dry.” Once it has, I slip a cover over it and put it back where it goes. Where it will always go. Because, whether she lives here or not, whether she grew up in this house or not … wherever her father and I dwell, she will always have a home.

So I got to thinking about it. The house I grew up in is now owned by my brother. Although I no longer call it “Mama’s” and now call it “Van’s” it will always be “home” for me. No matter where I go. No matter how many houses or apartments or caves I live in. That house at that address will always be home.

When I go for a visit–about twice or three times a year–I stay for a week. Typically now, I go alone. I used to go with the kids. Occasionally with the husband. But … not any more. My brother and I hang out. We watch TV. We eat. We drive all over the county looking for those historical signs that say things like “Washington Slept Here” and “The 20th Confederate Regimen Crossed Here.” My favorite “find” was the place along the Savannah River where the new settlers crossed over from the Carolinas to make Georgia Home. The place remembered as Burton’s Ferry. Van and I spent nearly an hour exploring the banks of the river, imagining what it might have been like for those first folks who braved a whole new way of life.

I keep a toothbrush at my brother’s. A bottle of body lotion. A can of hair spray. I don’t know why. I just do. I suppose, like my daughter, I need to leave something of myself–something normal and a part of my every day–so that my claim is still staked there.

Maybe.

Maybe I just don’t like to pack so much stuff.

Or maybe I don’t want the house to forget me. I don’t believe it has.

The last time I went there, I noticed–for the first time in years–that my growth chart remains on the doorjamb of my old closet door. I haven’t lived there since the mid-1970s, but by gosh there is a chart showing that I grew up. Right there. In that house. Against a doorjamb.

Dorothy was right. As soon as I graduated from high school, I went looking over the rainbow, but in the end, there’s no place like home.

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Eva Marie Everson is the president of Word Weavers International, the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference, and the author of over 30 published works. Her novels have won numerous awards (including two Maggies, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award,and the AWSA Golden Scroll Award) and she has finaled for a Christy, a Carol Award, and a Gold Medallion). She is a wife, mother and grandmother and is pretty much owned by her dog, Poods. For more information about her work and life, check out her website: www.EvaMarieEversonAuthor.com

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Comments

  1. Julie Cantrell says

    What a beautiful post, Eva Marie. To be able to return to your childhood home — that’s special! And I love the image of you running your fingers over the doorjamb, tracing the milestones of your youth. You’re lucky the home is still in your family and that your children will have their own memories both there…and in the home they return to now with your grands. Thanks for sharing! j

  2. says

    Lovely post, Eva Marie! Y’all will laugh at this but I have my own little room at my parents’ assisted living apartment. Now that’s a bit extreme, I know! My mother even calls it “Amy’s room.” They have a two-bedroom apartment and we carved out a space for me in the room that’s meant to be a home office. Seeing all the familiar things there – my robe hanging on the back of the door, my old sweater, and yes, my spare toothbrush! – makes me feel at home!

  3. says

    The place I always think of as “home” was a T1-11 sided rancher my father built that overlooked the falls for which the Christian camp was named. We lived there from the time I was six until I was fourteen, and I had acres and acres to explore. Sadly, we lost our home and my childhood stomping grounds to a denominational misunderstanding, but two or three years later I returned and sat on that front porch and visited with the new caretaker. He even let me look at my old room. It was such a bittersweet experience. I think we should always be allowed to go “back home,” at least once.

  4. says

    Wonderful post, Amy. I remember dropping by my parents’ house once with my kids. They weren’t home so I let myself in to get what I needed. My son was probably seven or eight. We still laugh at him saying in wide-eyed wonder as I helped myself to a drink from the fridge, “OHhhhhh, you’re getting Nanee’s stuff!” :) I explained that Nanee and Papa’s home would always be mine, just as my home would always be his. He liked it. He’s never forgotten it…Happy Easter!

  5. says

    And then I think of our Heavenly Father who has our tooth brushes waiting. Oh I’m ready for that home.
    However, when I left my parent’s house after a resent visit I thought of what it would be like to no longer have that home to go to. You’ve got me thinking I might just give it to my brother:)

  6. says

    constantly i used to read smaller articles which as well clear
    their motive, and that is also happening with this article
    which I am reading here.

  7. says

    I grew up on a sheep ranch in Idaho, on land my great-grandfather homesteaded. There is history along the creek bed, the ravine, the lake. There, my ancestors fashioned a home and a life, and passed the legacy down several generations. The ranch belongs to me and my sister now. And someday, if we all don’t move to our forever home first, that land will go to Peanut and Gumdrop….I love knowing that. And like you, Eva, I love going back to my “home.”

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