The sun is shining. The temp is in the 60’s and rising. What a fabulous weather report that takes me back to my farming roots! It’s spring and I’m thinking of home (after a writing workshop last Saturday)!
And yet . . .
Spring is a time to celebrate . . .
rebirth as plants nudge their way through the ground cover
life as baby animals appear with their families
longer days of leaving home in the daylight and still having daylight on the return at the end of the day
end of the year activities . . . concerts, track events, music contests
And all those dreaded LASTS . . .
The last time the seniors . . . before they graduate
The last time the juniors . . . before they move to the senior world
And so on . . .
But today I celebrate last Sunday’s reprise . . .
All seven of us who went to Rome . . .
Together . . . plus a few more!!!
“We set off on a journey to Rome, yes a religious trip, but also a trip to the heart of civilization. This is a city of 300 churches with 200 more in the suburbs. It’s a city of many diverse nationalities and personalities. It was a pleasure to be in a group of seven . . .
within a community of 52 pilgrims from an Iowa sponsored tour (plus folks from IL, WI, MO, and FL).” “SOL16: Travel Trivia”
and here we were again . . .
But this time in Iowa
A band concert
Taking advantage of time together
Eight months later to gather for a celebratory meal (Leo & Shirley’s upcoming 9th anniversary)
And a high school band concert directed by a son / grandson / nephew/ husband / father . . .
Central DeWitt: Sunday, April 30, 2017
And always, one of the fans in the seats!
Home can be family.
Home may not be one specific physical place.
Where do you celebrate and call home?
Check out for celebrations at the link with Ruth!
(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)
“Today is the day! Coming home! Crossing the ocean! Landing in Louisville!”
That day did finally happen on Tuesday – yesterday. The returning celebration was originally scheduled for 10:30 am. Then rescheduled to 6:20 pm; our anxiety increased with every passing moment. Rescheduled for 8:20 pm. Rescheduled YET again for 8:00 pm. Not allowed to discuss “travel” or “locations” on social media, emails, etc. NOT allowed; nor ALOUD! Afraid to whisper for fear of change and the agony of disappointment! Did you catch my ever so cautious references to “uncle” . . .???
But wait, where did this story begin? And who is it about?
Let’s begin at the beginning!
Or rather at ONE beginning!
9 month deployment to Afghanistan;
All soldiers packed and ready to load.
Saying goodbye to a wife of 2 months . . . . . .
A nine month duty assignment in Afghanistan.
Quieter celebrations in his absence:
Fourth of July,
Hawkeye football weekends,
Christmas (KY, IA, Mareks at the Casino, Ruths at Hills),
2 hours of skype – Christmas opening presents with son, daughter-in-law and mom,
cards from Benen’s first grade class at Central DeWitt, and
packages from family and friends.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Celebrations while away included a promotion December 1st to Sergeant with wife “skyping” in!
Then, eager anticipation for the trip home.
On the plane headed to the first stop, still in Europe . . .
Real mattresses for the first time in 9 months!
The little things . . .
Closer in miles, yet so far to journey’s end!
Waiting for that phone call to share the details of the homecoming ceremony . . .
Deplaning for the “last time” this trip . . . . Louisville, KY!
(from the bottom of the steps – the second one up)
A real hug . . . after 248 days!
Not quite home home, but soon to be with Toby Ryan and Millie Ann who actually helped “decorate” for the homecoming!
Thank you, my son, for your second deployment and for leaving your own precious family to protect our freedom!
In this case, “home” is the United States and my son’s family in KY. . . four states and over 500 miles away from his childhood home! (An extension of our home due to the graciousness of the best daughter-in-law in the world and the pups, Toby Ryan and Millie Ann!)
Why is this extra special? Or is it bittersweet? My son was six months old when his dad’s National Guard unit was activated for one year service to support Desert Storm. It does not really get “easier” after multiple overseas deployments!
Typically a home is thought of as that place where one lives. When you do not have a place to live, you are often known as homeless. But what about those who must travel for their jobs? Or leave their home to go somewhere else to do their job? Do they have a home away from home? A major home (permanent) and a minor home?
What really makes a home?
Is it the place, the things, or the people? Some famous quotes about “home” include:
.“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.“Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.”
― Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye.“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
― Maya Angelou, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes.“I don’t care if we have our house, or a cliff ledge, or a cardboard box. Home is wherever we all are, together,”
― James Patterson
.“Where we love is home,
Home that the feet may leave,
but not our hearts.”
― Oliver Wendell Holmes