Home sweet home

Published 9:01 am Friday, May 8, 2009

I’ve been longing for home lately, although I’m still trying to figure out where that is.

Is home where you hang your hat? Or where the heart is? Is it where charity begins? It could be any of those places, I suppose.

Growing up in a military household, I used to think that home was wherever we were stationed. I lived in Virginia Beach and Hawaii and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and called those places home for a time, although I don’t claim any of them now.

When I was in college in Macon, Ga., home was Pensacola, Fla., because that’s where I went to high school. I still pause when telling people that’s where I am from — not because Pensacola isn’t lovely, but because it seems like an eternity since I claimed a permanent address there.

After graduating from college, Georgia became home for several years. And then, when I moved to the Midwest, got married and had kids in Michigan, that was home, too.

I had the chance to travel back to Michigan last weekend and many of my friends greeted me with “Welcome home.”

And when we left Detroit to head back to Franklin, I buckled my kids in the car and told them to brace for the long car ride home.

Technically, home is the place where you set up residence.

But the word evokes so much more than that sterile definition allows.


It’s not just a house, although those can certainly be turned into havens. Maybe it’s more about community.


It’s a place where you belong. Where you feel accepted and welcomed and loved. It’s comfort and sanity and refuge.

As the definition continues to evolve for me personally, home has become where my children will forge friendships and attend school. The place, despite any faults, I would fiercely defend and help make better.

It’ll be the place I’m glad to lay my head down at night and the location I will pine for when I’m not there.

Dorothy was so right.

Wherever home ends up being, there’s no place like it.