I consider Duluth my home. I’ve barely even lived in Duluth. I was born there but we moved away when I was still a baby and then I took a quick detour back to Duluth for my first year of college.
I cannot tell you the best restaurants or shortcuts or about the housing prices. I cannot tell you what schools are best, where to shop, or what garbage service to hire.
It’s only home to me because that is where we went ‘home’ when I was growing up. My parents both were born and raised in Duluth and most of my extended family still lives there.
But the biggest part of going home was going to my grandparent’s house. The house they bought in 1953 and lived in until they both died. The small house they raised seven children in. The house with the gold linoleum and the bar in the basement. The house with the glider rocker in the living room and towels that needed replacing. The house where the coffee was always on and there was candy in the dish on the end table. The house filled with my grandma’s hugs and Wheel of Fortune airing in the background. The house of late night Boggle games and Cribbage tournaments. The house with the elephant rocks in the back and the perfect sledding hill. The house that was a home.
I’ve been back to my Duluth only one since they’ve both been gone. Two and a half years..and only one trip. It’s only two hours away and yet it seems like a long journey to take. One I’ve yet to completely prepare myself to do.
I was unprepared for our trip this past weekend. I sat on their bench overlooking the lake and rubbed my fingers along their names while I sang their song and cried. Because no matter how hard I wished it, they were not with me up on that hill that day. I drove to the cemetery and cleaned the grass off their stones and touched them gently and I didn’t see them. I sat down on the ground and watched my kids run through the markers yelling out names and dates..finding historical significance in our journey but not the people I was looking for.
So I drove by their home. The home where strangers now reside and I truthfully expected ugly landscaping and no decorations…but I found the house how my grandparents left it. Neat, simple and with little Fall decorations dotting the deck..very similar to how my grandma decorated.
And I felt peace. That this home was being taken care of and perhaps that would make their rest more peaceful and my heart less heavy so that I could feel at home again in the city that I love.
Do you have a place that you call home? Why do you consider it home?
(I have better pictures coming from my good camera. These were all taken with my iPhone and I’m linking up with A Belle A Bean and A Chicago Dog with my iPhone pics this week)