Where should one call home? I’ve always called Texas home, even though I wasn’t born there, only lived there 10 years, and haven’t lived there in 40 years. The answer, I think, is because that’s where my parents live. Well, at least they used to live there.
In many parts of the world, long running wars are fought over territory neither attractive nor resource-plentiful, for the simple reason that it is the land of their fathers and fathers’ fathers. In other words, it’s home because it was where their family was. That contrasts interestingly with my contention that it’s home because it is where my family is.
This has been on my mind lately because my mother has just moved from Texas, having lived there for over half a century, to North Carolina. My father passed away about 2 1/2 years ago. Now I have no family remaining in Texas.
Two weeks ago, I flew to Texas for almost a week to assist Mom in her move. Since then, much time has been spent helping her settle in. Now, she’s just about ready for the rest of her family to join her in North Carolina this coming weekend to celebrate her new home. These two weeks have found me thinking a lot about home.
North Carolina to Texas is a 1,000 mile plane flight, non-stop, thank goodness. Assuming an on time arrival, it takes about 6 hours, maybe 6 1/2, door to door, including all those delightful indignities of the 21st century, especially security screenings and sardine seating. My home to Mom’s new home is 2 1/2 miles and takes about 6 to 8 minutes. Obviously, the difference is quite a contrast.
So, where is home? At this point, there is nothing in Texas to draw me back there. While I have fond memories of growing up there, high school graduation just became a four decade old memory. I’ve lived in North Carolina for 35 years. My daughter was born here.
So, at least for now, I’m thinking North Carolina is now both home and place of residence, while Texas has just become my former home, both important, but also different. My mother is here. My wife is here. My daughter is here. They pretty much settle the debate.