porch with flowers

We have just returned from our travels and when we crossed back into Idaho, I  said to my husband, “There is no place like home.” 

I have been an Idahoan longer than I was a Nebraskan and a resident of Sandpoint longer than anywhere else. We’ve lived in our present house for a little over three decades and coming back home  only made me appreciate where I live, my routine and my community all the more. 

The Familiar 

Though our accommodations while on vacation were quite sufficient, coming home meant sleeping in our own bed. Our bed is tailor made to accommodate our preferences; I like a firm mattress while my husband prefers a softer one. So, under my side of the mattress lies a piece of plywood to firm up the cushiness. I was grateful to feel the solidness underneath me while I slept in our own bed once again.

While at home, drinking a cup of coffee first thing in the morning is routine. I’ve preset the clock on our coffee pot so that when I wake up at 3:00 a.m. I smell the coffee, pour a cup and ascend the stairs to my quiet space where I read and write for a good two hours. 

During our travels on the road, a cup of coffee was not always the first thing. Sometimes we drove for two hours in the darkness of the predawn light before we found a town with a coffee stand or a restaurant. Other times, we had to wait for our camp coffee to perk. Ah, it felt good to pour myself a 3:00 a.m. cup of coffee once again. 

Then there was the search for food. Whether a grocery store or diner, they were not always easy to locate. Unlike on the road, here at home I know exactly where to shop for groceries or where to find a fine place to dine. 

My husband and I packed light for this trip knowing that if we had to, we could wash our clothes at a laundromat. Years ago, I depended on the local laundromat for clean clothes, but it has been years since I’ve plugged quarters into a washing machine. 

On this trip though, I had the opportunity to revisit the laundromat. It took 16 quarters for one load. I was astounded. At least I had a cup of coffee in my hand which made the early morning, expensive chore a little more palatable.

We met some friendly folks while on vacation, but we were strangers in their state. We exchanged names, pleasantries and shared about some of our background with these nice folks, but no one knew us well enough to miss us after we broke camp and went on our way.

Here at home it is a different story. Walking onto the swimming deck, one of the lifeguards wondered where I’d been the past week. He’d missed my regular presence at the pool. At the grocery store, the clerk knows who I am since I’ve shopped there for years. Coming home again, my brother and sister were both glad to see my face and hear my voice. I am no stranger in my community and it feels good to be known and to know I was missed. 

Why bother appreciating home? Wherever we may reside, when we come home again, we’ve come back to where we know we belong. 

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