As a child “HOME” was not a single, specific place. Growing up with a military father the location and appearance of the place we called “home” varied. Some homes were rural, and some suburban. Some homes had yards while others were apartments with balconies. Some of those homes were rented, while others were owned.
My “HOME” had changed 10+ times by the time I left home, married and established a home of my own. Some might imagine that would be hard on a child, moving so frequently, uprooting, and starting over, but I never found that to be the case. Actually it was quite the opposite. Like a family of nomadic turtles I quickly learned “HOME” was something that moved with you. It was never the house, the neighborhood, or the community that made a place “HOME,” but rather the people.
Home is “Our anchor, our refuge, our port in the storm, our happy place,” and all that stability and security has nothing to do with a place. It has to do with who resides in that place.
Home is about family.
This weekend I went HOME.
The girls and I spent the weekend at the Homestead. This quiet slice of land in Ohio is the place where my parents have grown roots and settled down following my father’s retirement. The Homestead is not a part of my past or my history. I have zero connection to the land, the neighborhood, or the area (although it is a lovely place.) My connection and draw to the Homestead are the homesteaders that call that slice of soil “home.” So although I have no history there, I always feel a sense of returning home when I visit.
It is a place of refuge and a port in the storm…a place where I can return to a simpler time of life. When I pull down the driveway I find myself reverting back to the easy role of just being a daughter.
Every now and then it is nice to just be a daughter.
This weekend I was blessed with that opportunity, and although I was still a “mom” since the girls were tagging along, I had none of the responsibilities of that role, only the fun and ease that comes with years of parenting work that results in a sweet friendship with our children as they grow into adulthood.
The weekend was a birthday celebration for my mother and I. My birthday falls days after Christmas, and my mom’s birthday falls the beginning of January, so it has become a tradition to have a “Girls Only” weekend of fun and frivolity after the craziness of the holidays settles down. It gives us something fun to look forward to in January.
The girls and I drove out on Friday. Molly did all the driving, thrilled at the 5 hours of round-trip driving practice she could log. Friday night was spent enjoying dinner and catching up. Everyone enjoyed a good night sleep so that we could begin our 24 hour marathon of fun well rested.
We squeezed A LOT of fun into our short weekend visit including…
* A delicious lunch at Broken Rocks Café:
*A trip to the movies to see Hidden Figures…which we gave 2 thumbs up. What a great film!
* Window shopping in charming downtown Wooster:
* A shopping spree at Friendtique, the BEST thrift store in all of Ohio!
My parents gave Grace, Molly and I gift certificates for Christmas which we couldn’t wait to spend. I also received birthday money from my grandmother that I included in my spending spree budget. I was thrilled with all the pretties I found for my home:
The girls used their gift certificates in the clothing section and found all sorts of great finds:
*And Craft time! We had fun making homemade cards and paper crafts (compliments of a Paper Pumpkin subscription I bought my mom for her birthday last year):
The best part of the weekend, however, were the quiet times…the peace and renewal found in the Ohio countryside, away from the trauma and the drama. It was a weekend of returning “HOME” to a simpler place and a slower pace…
I felt myself exhale the tension-filled breath I had been holding for the last few months.
I left feeling strengthened by my time spent there.
It was a weekend of rest, of renewal, of encouragement, and quiet. And it had nothing to do with the places and everything to do with the faces.
There is something to be said for returning HOME.