Much of our family life in 2016 has been lived on the highways of America. Five people, one cat, a travel trailer and a truck, and lots of opportunities to meet up with friends and help people we meet along the way. We have been doing community service work part time for four years, and full time for almost one year, with friends in a group we formed together in 2012 called Labor of Love USA. The sense of community, connectedness, and hope this has brought to our life cannot be overstated. Our home base for this adventure has been a place in the mountains of Utah we have called home these past several years.
It is a beautiful, rugged place, remote and restful. We still love it there. I have learned along the way that one does not need to make one thing bad in order to make another thing good. This has become important as we have considered and decided to change our home base to a small farm in rural Indiana. This is a big change for us, in so many ways.
Early in our marriage, my husband and I saw a play we loved, a musical, in which the leads sing to one another just before tying the knot. The song was titled, “You Are My Home”. Later that year, Dave gave me a gift inscribed with the saying. How true it has become to our family. Home can be wherever you are at peace and with those you love. And, no success can compensate for failure at home. It is that important.
There is, however, something essential about the concept of HOME as a PHYSICAL place, an anchor to the soul, a refuge. Once your mind attaches that term (home) to a particular place, the process of shifting that allegiance to a new place can be a challenge. Especially for young people for whom a majority of the years they remember have been spent in that place.
We have been to the farm we will soon call home many times. A dear family friend has lived there more than two decades. Her hospitality and the good spirit in the space are a reflection of her goodness. She taught us to quilt, and with that, how to live better and love better. I hope we can honor the good that lingers in the home because of her.
What happened tonight is that much more remarkable because of loving both places. On our drive from Utah to Indiana today, we stopped for some dinner. While saying the blessing before our meal, our youngest son, without thinking much about it, asked God to take us to our ‘home in Indiana’ in safety. It is a beginning of reanchoring ourselves. I am grateful.