Where Is Home?

11 03 2013

I have been blessed with the unique distinction of being able to call three different areas Imagehome.  Going in reverse order I’ve called Indiana home since 1974.  It was never my intention of staying here so long.  My Lady and I came out here for the purpose of allowing me to pursue an education in music and then return to where we moved from or possibly somewhere else.  What’s that old saying; best laid plans of mice and men?  We never planned to stay here but after 39 years, I feel it’s safe to say we’re pretty well rooted here.  This is home.

Before our move to Indiana we lived in Ohio.  Cathy was born there and my family settled around 1960.  All of hers and the majority of my childhood memories are centered on a farming community several miles south of Lake Erie.  The only home Cathy knew back then is there.  The old apartment house my family bought and made into our home is there also.  Beside family, all of the friends we grew up with are there along with the memories of laughter and fun times that go together with youthful days.  It’s where we met, fell in love, married and moved into our 1st home, a little 2 bedroom place that cost us $105 a month! This was home.

I mentioned my family came to Ohio in 1960, for my birth state is the Wild and Beautiful West Virginia, Southern West Virginia to be exact, right up against the state of Virginia. I’ve mentioned in earlier blogs that childhood in Ohio wasn’t that great for me because of abuse at the hands of a great-uncle and also learning problems in my early school days that made me a target for bullying of all types.  The highest moment of my life was always when my Aunt Pearl and I made the yearly trip back to West Virginia.  That visit was sanctuary for me, seeing people that I loved dearly and sneaking off into the hills every chance I got. The center of activity was just outside a small community named Rock.  My heart would always skip a beat when we reached this settlement because then it was just one more mile of travel along the Rock Road  (Hey, that sounds like a great name for a Blog and manuscript!)  Out in the country, along a hillside sat my Uncle Dave’s and Aunt Virgie’s home (the house you’re seeing in the picture).  There was a large yard that ran downhill to my Uncle Sam and Aunt Dorothy’s home.  In my earliest days, I can remember my Great Grandmother Emmazetta Marshall (I love that name!!) still living and residing with Dave and Virgie.  There was also my Great Aunt Lily, one of the kindest souls I’ve ever known, living there.  This group was rounded out by Great Aunt Dot (or Dotsky) who lived in another community, but would come to see us when we came in.  These ones I have mentioned I lovingly referred to as the “Old Guard” of the family.  There were many other relatives we would see but these are the people that, in my opinion, held the family together, the ones who made you feel special, made you feel loved.  This is home.

Three homes, not a bad situation to have, huh?  But the question now comes forth, can I really claim all these places as home?  Well, yes, and no.  Yes for all the reasons I’ve given, but no because of time and change.  When we left Ohio we had every intention of someday returning, because it was home.  But over the years any family we had there is now gone, so were our childhood homes and even many of our friends who left the area also.  The memories of our youthful days will always revolve around Fremont, and we still return occasionally for a visit, but truth of the matter, it’s no longer home.

It’s now been a number of years since the last of the Old Guard passed away and the houses I loved to visit in West Virginia have been sold and changed over time.  I still visit from time to time, but without them, it’s just not the same.  The beauty of the hills and the forest is still there, but the people who taught me so much about life are no longer apart of them.  There have been times I’ve traveled back, but not told any of my remaining family there I was in.  I wasn’t being rude or evasive, but I had a need to travel the Rock Road once again, and to listen.  Going on my remembrance I could once again hear their voices, and relive the deep heritage they instilled in me.  I love to go back, physically, and mentally, again, it’s no longer home.

I do so much love our home in Indiana, its nothing extraordinary, but it’s the house we built to live in and raise our children.  It’s the place all of them recognize as home, and there are even other kids that became apart of our lives that have a special bond to us and our little abode.  There’s a good chance we’ll finish out our days there, but there is also the possibility we made relocate someday after retirement Good Lord’s will and the creek don’t rise.   My Lady and I still have a love for the mountains and it wouldn’t take much to finish out our days in Tennessee or North Carolina.  Knowing that about us, I can truthfully say that Indiana, as much as we love it, isn’t really home.

So where can I call home if none of the places I wrote tonight about apply?  Am I saying that I have no where I can identify with, where I can boast citizenship?  No, of course not, only I haven’t been there yet.  When I chose to put my faith in Christ I was given a new citizenship. The Bible teaches that we are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us.  Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace; 1st Chronicles 29:15.   I have such a love for life and for everything around me that it’s hard to imagine some place even better, but if I’m to believe in a God who loves me so much that He promises something even better than what I see now, then I have to believe He’s saving the best for last! (Check out John 14:2-3)

At my age I realize that most of the living I’ve done is now behind me.  It’s been a long journey, but Sweet Jesus, what an awesome journey it’s been, and still looking forward to seeing what’s around the next bend on the Travels of the Rock Road.  I also know when the journey finally does come to an end, I have the assurance that it’s only beginning, I’ll at last, be home; AWESOME!!!  Think I’ll let my man Buddy Greene sum it with the words to one of his songs:                                                                  

“I don’t belong and I’m going someday home to my own native land

I don’t belong and it seems that I hear, the sound of welcome home band

I don’t belong I’m a foreigner here, just singing a sojourner’s song

I’ve always known this place ain’t home and I don’t belong.”


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