Any missionary kid will attest that the question, "Where do you call home?" is a difficult one to answer. Part of my heart will always think of Kenya as home because that's where I grew up. Now that my parents live in Michigan, I feel like I'm going home when I go up there. Something about walking into their house and seeing all the familiar objects that I grew up seeing every day (like the Egyptian table, the framed family picture with all our names and their meanings in frames surrounding it, even everyday objects like the stainless steel salt and pepper shakers) is just so incredibly soothing. Bear in mind that I never actually lived in their house in Livonia; but it still feels a little bit like home.
This last year, though, when I thought of home, a jumbled hodge-podge of images flashed through my mind. Images of our old three-bedroom house in Mississippi, just across the street from the church where Rusty worked blended with those of our spacious six-bedroom home in Japan (and mixed in from time to time were images of our first apartment in Mito). It's odd, but I still remember practically every detail of those two homes, like how the furniture was arranged, where this or that picture or decoration was hung, even what drawer housed my silverware or my collection of wooden animal napkin rings.
Lately, my thoughts of home are beginning to organize themselves around our new abode at 1000 Cherry Road. We have been here little more than a month, but already, I feel more at home here than I have since we left Japan. No offense to Rusty's family, or to the Onsomu's (who were like our second home while we were in Portland), but there is just no real substitute, as far as I'm concerned, for a place of my own, for being surrounded by my own things. Sitting on my own couch, eating dinner (cooked in my own pans) off my own dishes at my own table -- just ordinary activities, yes, but that first week we were here, I was practically revelling in those things!
It's just student housing here on campus, just a 2-bedroom, 1-bath, cinder-block apartment, but it feels like a palace to me! For the first time in over a year, I can say the words, "It's good to be home."