But Seriously, Home, Marriage

There & Back Again

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That’s the face I make when I get to see my seester. ❤

Also the face I make when I’m walking over a very long bridge over very rapid water which I can see through the bridge. Actually, that face was a trifle more terrified/green.

Logan & I took a quick trip last weekend back up to our old college stomping grounds. (Is it pretentious to call ABC “our old college stomping grounds” when we have been graduated for literally 2.5 months?) It was odd to go back–it’s been such a short time, and yet so much has changed. It probably was too soon to visit again, technically, but two of my fellow music majors were having their senior recital, Logan & I aren’t committed to a local church here yet, and Ruth and I missed each other. So I bought waaaaaaaaaay too much trip food, and off we went. (My memories of sustenance needed for road trips all still involve a van full of 7+ people — at least two of whom are always-hungry boys — and drives that last many many hours. Hence the overabundance of munchies.)

It was the loveliest of weekends. We finally visited the ghost town every ABC student must visit that I had somehow missed out on.

Thurmond 1
photo thanks to Dan

We saw a beautiful waterfall. I devoured chips & salsa with Ruth and talked about all the things. We witnessed two of the most beautiful and talented musicians I know give a recital that demonstrated both their talents and their love for God perfectly (and we held hands while we listened). We finally experienced firsthand the truth that Mr. Van needs no sleep. (Also, he makes really good breakfasts!) We spent time with some of our best friends from school (thanks for the cheese curds, Drew & Katie! Sorry I brought up politics!!). We worshiped with our WV church family again and were spiritually refreshed. We ate pizza. . . and more pizza . . . and more pizza. (Thanks, Miss Joann!) We all tried (unsuccessfully) to guess what Józsué and Sári are naming their baby. We brushed up on our Hungarian. We smiled a lot. We hugged many people. In short, we simply had the best time.

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Thurmond 2
thanks again, Dan! And yes, Logan is using the point-and-shoot my parents gave me for my 16th birthday . . . it was THE camera for teenage girls to have back in the day. And it is still pretty awesome. 

Then, we came home.

It’s a funny thing, this concept of home. I sometimes feel like I’m right where I belong and so far away from there simultaneously. Many people have asked us where Logan & I are from since we started visiting churches. Occasionally, if they want the long answer, we explain. . . but most often, we simply answer “West Virginia.” And in some ways, West Virginia has come to be “home” in the past three years; our church there truly became  a family to us. Going back, even for such a short weekend, was almost like going back to our hometowns.

One of the hardest things about living here has been not having a church yet. When I was at college, 600ish miles away from my family, I had a home at my church. Moving here, I was prepared for the homesickness I’ve felt for my family; I think I’ve handled that OK. But the homesickness I feel for church–that’s what’s hard to deal with. I’ve been very close to both churches I’ve attended in recent years, and it’s so difficult to be patient as develop that relationship with another church. Some people say home is where your heart is . . . but I think it’s where my church is. On Sundays, I am almost always homesick . . . but for people, not for a place.

Then again, now that I’m married, I can truly say that I would rather be homesick here with Logan than anywhere else without him. And Sunday night, as we drove back to our house together, I was so happy. Even though we’re still getting settled in here . . . even though we have many loved ones to miss . . . this house feels more like home every day I spend with him. Little by little, things are finding their places. Curtains are finally going up, orderliness is beginning to take over clutter, confidence is growing with each purchase of bargain meat and each edible meal made from it. Little by little, we are making a home out of just a house.

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What a traditional woman did that made her home warm and alive was not dusting and laundry. Someone can be hired to do those things (to some extent, anyway). Her real secret was that she identified herself with her home. . . . her affection was in the soft sofa cushions, clean linens, and good meals; her memory in well-stocked storeroom cabinets and the pantry; her intelligence in the order and healthfulness of her home; her good humor in its light and air. She lived her life not only through her own body but through the house and an extension of her body; part of her relation to those she loved was embodied in the physical medium of the home she made.

-Cheryl Mendelson, Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House

Is “home” people or place? Or can it be both? Whichever way it is . . . I loved going to West Virginia for the weekend. It was good to be there. But it’s even better to be back again.

Now I am going to show my affection for my husband by finishing folding the laundry I started an hour ago. Here’s to making home.

Note: Thanks for the book, Mom & Dad. 🙂

 

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2 thoughts on “There & Back Again”

  1. Me likes the pictures and will steal the one of us on the track, if that’s okay.
    Also, this was just beautifully put–I think about home a lot, and what it is, and what it isn’t, and how to make it when it seems a long way away, and how to BE it. I can’t wait to see how you keep making your home ho
    me 🙂

  2. I really liked this. I like the idea of being a “home maker”, the person who makes home for others. I am glad you had a nice trip, and a lot of fun with sister and friends.

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