The first place that comes to mind when I think of home is Granny’s side of a duplex on I Street in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
It wasn’t the only place she lived in that town where daddy was born and raised but it’s the one that is embedded in my memory. It’s the place I remember sitting with her, in what we called, the front room watching Dark Shadows on her black and white t.v. I felt like I was getting away with something, her letting my 10-year old self watch a show about vampires.
I remember helping her take the laundry in from the clothesline in her backyard and her braiding my hair at night before bed to help us stay cool in her un-airconditioned home. We shared a bed as there was only one in this place. One room at the front of the house, a kitchen in the middle and her bedroom and bathroom in the back. The furniture was sparse, the floors hardwood and cracked linoleum. There was a stuffed swivel rocker where she sat every morning reading her bible. She watched Bonanza and her ‘stories’ from that chair. She crocheted purses for my Barbie’s and argued with my daddy from the only upholstered furniture in her house. We drank orange juice from former jelly jars and her cast iron skillet cooked cornbread most days of the week. She had all she needed.
I wonder why that place comes to my mind as home as I never lived there. Well, I lived when I was there. Lived a very simple life walking to the Safeway with Granny, listening to conversations with her and one of my uncles when he stopped by. Going to the women’s meeting at church with her. I lived beside her like a shadow cast from the early afternoon sun.
There are so many quotes about home to sift through, deciding what holds truth and what is fairy tale. There’s a lot of made up stuff about home and it being all of that ‘home, sweet home’ variety. Sometimes it is, but what a burden to carry thinking it’s always that way or that everyone except you has that kind of home..
Memories of summer take me home. With family scattered around the country most of our vacations were spent traveling to see my parents or my brother and his family. We stopped at some fantastic places along the way but we always returned home. This summer, we’re planning to visit our son and his wife in their new home in Indianapolis. They’ve been there a year but it will be our first visit to their new place.
For me, home is about connectedness, about belonging. This month, we’ll be exploring home here in Graceland with a few guest bloggers and, hopefully, you. What’s your favorite quote or saying about home? Does home hold a spiritual connection for you? Is it true, can you never go home again?
I hope you’ll fill the spaces with your thoughts on home. Let’s explore together and build a stronger home. Ready?