What it means to go home

I'm not talking about going home after the grocery store, or ballet practice. I'm talking about going home to the place you grew up. Maybe not the same house, or even the same town, but going home to your folks. Wherever they may be.

To me, going home means that I get to sleep in a little bit. The coffee is ready for me when I wake up. It means that I don't have to make supper, because mom doesn't want me to have to cook. It means that the comfort of snuggling close to my folks, is only a couch cushion away. It means that I get to say fun words like: supper, britches or buggy, and they know what I'm talking about. It means that I get to share my hopes, dreams and aspirations with the very people that have cheered me on since I was a little kid. It means that I get to hug my momma and pops neck twenty times a day.

It also means that I get to go outside and smell the amazing orange blossoms that are in bloom; listen as a raging thunderstorm tears through the sky while dropping nickle sized raindrops; eat a delicious strawberry fresh from the field or watch a lighting bug light up the pasture on a warm night. It means that I will, without fail, get stung by a stinging nettle and at some point step into a giant ant hill; that the humidity will destroy any evidence of a good hair day and leave me sopping wet from bringing the groceries in. It also means that I'll watch and snicker as my mom runs away from the pet goose that likes to chase her.

I've had the opportunity to visit my folks in Florida for a few days. I'm always surprised at how my feelings change from the time I get here to the time I leave. I fly in with the feeling of being overwhelmed. The huge city, giant buildings, traffic and massive amounts of people, are not something we have in our part of Montana. It's intimidating and sends my senses into overdrive. It's actually quite uncomfortable, even though I spent most of my life here. Then, I get to my folks house that's tucked away into a deep canopy of old oaks and orange trees, surrounded by cattle and horses, a place where the true beauty of "old Florida" shines, and I can breathe again. Then, after a few days of sunshine, joyous conversation and recanting of old memories, our visit has come to an end, and it's time to pack up and go.

So, I fly in overwhelmed by its vastness and leave impassive, rested, and with a full heart.