Home had always been the blue house with the big yard and the basketball hoop. While I have vague memories of small red house with a scary basement and box elder bugs, I was too young to really know what home meant–partially because I never really left home. But when I was older, after leaving for vacations, weeks living with grandparents, church camps, sports camps, school, and more, I came to understand the concept of Home: a place that is constant; a place I know I can return to; a place that holds the family I love, the things I love, and the memories I love; and a place that contains my pillow, my toothbrush, and a good night’s sleep.
So for fifteen years, the blue house with the orchard, the garden, and the hill in the backyard was where I felt Home.
Then marriage came. For a few weeks while I was engaged, I didn’t feel very much at home anywhere. My pillow and toothbrush were no longer at the blue house; but yet, I felt like I was visiting my aunt and uncle more than making a home there because my stay was so short. Perhaps that was one of the reasons those few weeks were some of the most stressful–I couldn’t go home every night. In fact, I was unsure of what Home was anymore.
I moved in to the 450 square foot apartment the day before I got married, and spent the night back in the blue house with the bunk bed in the basement room and the ping pong table in the unfinished room. I slept in my old bottom bunk that I had been sleeping in for many, many years, though now my younger brother called it his bed.
I woke up, I got married, and after a short vacation, I returned to the small apartment on the second floor with two bookshelves full of my books and all my clothes hanging in the closet.
This was Home?
I’ve been married for two months now. Lots of changed in those two months. I recently went to the blue house with the small kitchen that makes lots of chocolate chip cookies and the fridge always full of food. And while it still felt like home, when I drove up to the gray apartment complex and stepped into the apartment with my pictures hung on the wall and with not only one, but three different toothbrushes in the bathroom, I knew that Home had changed forever.