Fall makes me think of home.
October feels important because it officiates summer’s end. When summer ends all of the travelers leave and fall is when everyone arrives home.
Last weekend we had some friends from our old home visit us in our new home and everything felt right with the world. It was the perfect balance of familiar and adventure and we settled in over the rickety table and it felt like home.
We also introduced our old friends to a new and dangerous habit of stopping at 7-11 on the way to the beach. We don’t keep junk food in the house, but 7-11 is across the street, so basically we keep junk food on our front porch, which feels healthier.
We stopped in on the way to the beach and bought drinks, a bag of candy, and some Cooler Ranch Doritos. And when we opened that bag of Cooler Ranch Doritos it felt like coming home. My mom always kept Cooler Ranch Doritos at our house when I was a kid, so now as an adult I pretend that they are disgusting and ruin my delicate health sensibilities when really I think they are salty and delicious and cooler-awesome.
I blame all of my poor eating habits on Mike. He forces me to go to 7-11, but I buy Diet Coke as a compromise. He also made me stop eating vegetarian when he got home from deployment, and by “made” I mean he ate a lot of delicious meat in from of me and made me want it. He was selfish like that when got home from deployment.
The point is, somehow keeping Cooler Ranch Doritos in our front porch made this new little home feel a bit like our old home.
Then on Tuesday night we went to a Navigators bible study filled with new people and somehow it felt like home too. We met people for the first time and they felt familiar because Navigators are intentional with relationships. Intentionality is so warm and familiar and homey.
And then something even more remarkable happened last night.
I locked my keys in the shcooter.
How does one lock keys in a vehicle with no doors, windows, or enclosures of any kind, you ask? That is a great question, but I don’t appreciate your condescending tone.
For your information, the keys got trapped in my backpack which was in the compartment underneath the seat which I closed in the sheer excitement of preparing to ride a shcooter. It gets me every time, that shcooter excitement.
The keys were locked and I had a thought. I had a beautiful, bring tears to my eyes thought.
Mike is home.
He is here. He is not deployed. He is not training. He is not across the country or across the world or in the field or on an airplane. He is here, in the same city, in walkable, rescuing distance from me.
You see, I have been stranded and lost and locked out a zillion and a half times. Since we have been married, I have spent nights in airports, hitch hiked rides home from strangers, navigated cab rides with drivers who don’t speak English and don’t have a GPS. I have had broken washers and broken down cars and broken vacuums and broken relationships and broken hearts and so many times my husband was out of reach, even though he didn’t want to be. And those are the moments where I felt more homesick than I ever have in my whole life. I felt homesick for him.
But last night he was home. He was in rescuing distance. He came and it felt like home. And it made me think that home is so much more portable than we realize. We take it for granted, really.
Home is so easy to take with you. It is easy things like Cooler-awesome Doritos and intentionality and having someone in rescuing distance.
It is as portable as a person, one cooler-awesome person, who makes even 7-11 feel like home.