Friday, September 14, 2007

Home

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."

9 comments:

  1. I can totally relate - when we left Japan and traveled from Aug until Jan - I didn't care WHAT those apartments looked like. It was OURS and that was all that mattered! I really thrive being in my own place with our own routine . . . it is a sweet thing. I am glad you are feeling at home there (and in one of the places that comes to MY mind when I think of home! How ironic!) -- Love you - Nicole

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yep, I know exactly what you mean... it doesn't matter what the home looks like. When it's your own, with your own stuff - that is home. I am glad you feel at home finally.
    Jeri

    ReplyDelete
  3. I read this post and then thought to myself I can totally relate. Nicole's words as well I see. We are in transition right now as Drew is looking for a ministry position somewhere. I am beginning to think of how nice it will be to be in a place of our own again. Just like you said our parents have been so loving and nice but everyone just needs a space to call their own. So glad to see you guys are doing well.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can relate too, now that I have my stuff out of storage, and accumulated more stuff/furniture from another death in the family. Only difference is that it's not really mine when someone else owns it. Not sure i'm used to calling this my home. For so many years and out of habit it's been, "my mom's house". The boys call it home, and it's the only real stable home they've had in the last 10 years. Yes I call it home, but it's different now. I still feel like it's my mom's house, and I don't feel that I have the freedom to call it my house when my brother owns it. Yes it's my things in the house and outside the house minus the left over chemicals and paint that have been collected through the centuries, and the MAHHOOCH err the Suburban. When those are gone though, i'll just have a little more space. Soon as I can get a renter downstairs i'll feel like it's a boarding house. I like the feel of being in a place to call home, and having a roof over the boys and my heads for now, and yes i call it home, but I still call it my mom's house. It felt more like home with my brother here, and my sissy-in-law, and more importantly the pitter pat of little feet from myyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy nephewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.... I can say that that pitter pat part cause i was living downstairs when they was here and that all you could hear was who was walking upstairs.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm sooo glad for you guys!! I know it's been a long transition.
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh yes, Laura. Home is the four walls within which your family comes together. It's not so much a certain city, state or even country (there's a whole bunch of people who dont' understand that!) as it is a place of the heart. We are so grateful that you and Rusty and Alex are a family. Mom

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm glad you guys finally made it! Hope you'll be visiting us at church soon!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Just wait till you buy your own place. It's been almost a year since Joe and I bought ours and it feels like home, but it still boggles the mind that it's ours (well, ours and the Bank's :) I'm glad you've settled in. AS much as it is fun to travel, it's gotta be nice to be in one place long enough to put down a few roots.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm so glad you have reached this point. You have been through so much...I pray this home will be a place of much joy and peace.

    ReplyDelete