The months roll by faster and faster as I get older, I’ve noticed. It seems to be more difficult to make it home for the holidays as well, especially as I move farther and farther away from my hometown. I can’t say that trend is going to stop anytime soon, but I do know I’m learning to cherish the idea of home more and more.
I wonder if you have 'homey' thoughts and memories like I do, that bubble up and sit warmly on your heart every once in a while (no matter how far away from home you might be). Here are a few of mine:
I was peeling apples for a pie over Thanksgiving, although the celebration was a long way from Texas. As hard as I tried, I could never shave the peel into one long spiral strip like my Nini could. She’d swirl the paring knife around and around the apple until it was bare, holding up the pink or red or yellow slinky for me to eat while she cut the rest into slices. Even the knobby peels I managed to hack off while making that pie were a little bit of home for me.
There is something about spearmint gum that immediately takes me back to the cab of my grandpa’s dirty, old farm truck- the one with all the rusty tools in the floorboard and the worn out seat covers that looked something like berber carpet. The gum was always there in the glovebox, right next to the yellow caffeine pills my grandpa would take during long nights of harvesting. I never understood how that spearmint scent could cut through the smell of grease and dirt and hard work, but somehow it always did. That gum is a little bit of home for me.
Scrolling through a favorite blog the other day led me to this hilarious article poking fun at the Williams-Sonoma catalog. I made it to the chocolate mice and almost fell out of my chair laughing as I remembered the time my mother and I tried to recreate a Taste of Home recipe for chocolate-covered cherry mice that ended up looking a tad bit demonic. Those terrifying red-eyed treats will always be a little bit of home for me.
I have remnants of home in other places too:
The list goes on, endlessly. Even as I get farther away from home, I am mercifully blessed to find more of it in my heart. I’m more understanding than ever of the old cliche, “Home is where the heart is,” and am thankful that my piddly little heart is so full of the homes I have been blessed to know and love over the years.
Nashville’s home for now, and it’s finding its way into my heart, but this year I’ll truly be home for Christmas (in more than just my dreams).
Here's what I'll be listening to on my flight back to the Lone Star State. Wishing you and yours a wonderfully warm holiday.