Monday, February 18, 2008


Today is sunny, the kind of crisp, clear, blue day at the tail end of winter that brings with it the promise spring will come. The kind of day that draws you outside to walk, to breathe in the cool air, and feel the warmth of the sun as it grazes your face.

I spent part of the morning walking with the dogs, bringing them in after lunch for kibble, yogurt, and a nap. Maddy, at five months, still needs that midday meal. Or so she thinks. Afterward, I went out to purchase some new dress shirts for hubby and pick up a few necessities. In between the 7-11 and Kohl's, I came across a thrift store I hadn't noticed before. While I generally hate to shop, I infrequently have moods conducive to wandering through unique little thrift stores and gift shops.

The thrift store had a name we've all seen before, something to the effect of "Second Time Around". I went in and began to wander about the store, picking up a piece of pottery that caught my eye and inspecting a Swedish Modern headboard in a lovely blonde wood tone. As I made my way to the back of the store, nearing the register, I heard a man and a woman talking. It was all business, talk of rent, transporting goods to the store, and collecting bounced checks. The man was older, perhaps the woman's father, and he peppered his sentences with various phrases meant to thank the Lord for their good fortune. I smiled to myself and thought about Brother Bill, the preacher at my childhood church. Something in the old man's manner and phrasing reminded me of him.

I finished my errands and came home. The dogs, fresh from their crates, were delighted to see me and ran immediately to the back door. The cats even slunk in to see who had come home. The house had grown too warm and stuffy while I was gone, so I opened the bank of windows on the kitchen wall, looking into the backyard. Suddenly the cats could hear, rather than just see those birds, and now, even though I closed the windows twenty minutes ago, they are still meowing at me, pleading for open windows again.

This time last year I wouldn't have given you a plug nickel for this town. I would most likely have wished to be elsewhere. Suddenly, undeniably, it is home.

  • I believe this is heaven
    To no one else but me
    And I'll defend it long as
    I can be
    Left here to linger
    In silence
    If I choose to
    Would you try to understand?

from Elsewhere by Sarah MacLachlan


MJ Krech said...

We went through a similar transplantation over 20 years ago to a small Missouri town. For just about the same reasons. We stayed on and on and now consider it home even though the northern states of South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan are where we come from and where much of our family still lives. Funny how places can grow on you, huh! Life takes too much energy to regret where you live for too long, I guess. Even if we are considered the "black" sheep of the family, I love the warmer weather and relative lack of snow too much to ever go back. How did that happen?!

"Bloom where you are planted," they say.

the rotten correspondent said...

Oh, kaycie, that's lovely. Home really is where you make it, isn't it?

I'm not sure when Kansas became "home" and California wasn't anymore. It was a kind of subtle shift as more and more of our life experiences became "midwest".

It feels good, doesn't it?

Manic Mother Of Five said...

If only we could bottle that rare feeling of contentment and take a sip when life is a little less tranquil.....

Lovely post honey, MMoF x

laurie said...

very nice. the cats and the birds....

and all the little things that make a place *yours." i will never have a city in my bones the way duluth is, i fear. but st. paul does feel like home now.

it took me longer than it took you.

willowtree said...

Everybody's got to be somewhere.

Kim said...

I feel for you, MJ. It was hard to move after living in the same house for twelve years, not to mention spending the better part of my adult life within 60 miles of the only home I lived in growing up. I suppose part of me will always be from Green Country. My kids tell me that as soon as we cross the county line my drawl increases tenfold.

Yes, RC, it really is. There are even things here now that are better. My big roomy house in a quiet country subdivision, for instance. I do miss things, but less and less as time goes by. It feels good to refer to home and actually mean the place where I live!

You read it just right, MMoF. Contenment is exactly the feeling I was describing! Glad you enjoyed the post.

Thanks, Laurie. I do think the cats are much happier here, even though they were only kittens in the Broken Arrow house, and very tiny ones at that. It has been a year and a half now. How long did it take you?

Of course, you're right Willow. I'm just glad I like being where I have to be.

The Green Stone Woman said...

This is how I have come to love where I am, which I hated so much at first, now I would not leave it for anything.

A place grows on you, grows around you and you grow into it. Thank goodness, even when the growing process hurts.

I call it home now. They do talk funny here and I don't, but that is okay, we understand each other.

ped crossing said...

A beautiful almost spring day can do that to a person.

Babaloo said...

That's a lovely post. That feeling of home kind of sneaks up on you, doesn't it? It takes a while and then one day you notice, out of the blue. I'm still not fully at home in this village but I do feel at home in Ireland. Very much so. That didn't take long, by the way.

Cait O'Connor said...

That was a lovely blog. (\I'm a Sara Maclachan fan too). We are having the same weather as you but I am laid low at the moment with a fluey head cold. I understand how the feeling of home can sneak up on you, it has happened to me. I don't mind you emailing me when you blog by the way,

thefoodsnob said...

How wonderful for you, it does sound like you're truly home now.


Aoj and The Lurchers said...

I love the feeling of coming home...nothing quite like it!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

It's great to be back and reading your blog again, kaycie. Isn't it amazing what a difference a year can make?

jason evans said...

The day felt like a transition day here too.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

It's a been a day like that here too. A shame to close the back door but the dogs enjoyed their freedom on the lawn.

Thanks for the invite to read your blog.

Crystal xx

elizabethm said...

My family moved a bit when I was young (although not until I was 11) and I have often wondered if that makes settling in easier. I also think having a childhood in the same place was a good rooting thing to do. I feel very at home here and am glad you do in yours. Love the poem too.

Kim said...

I know what you mean, Irene. I'm not where you are yet, though. If we won the lottery tonight, I'd start preparing to move back to the Tulsa area tomorrow.

Yes, it can, Ped. A beautiful, almost springlike day again today made me feel almost the same way.

Seeing as how I haven't really left my original state, I'm sure your adjustment has been greater than mine, Babaloo. I do remember feeling truly like a fish out of water for a while in Kansas. I think it was the complete lack of any Southern lilt in the accent.

I love Sarah MacLachlan, Cait. She is one of my absolute favorites. I do hope you're feeling better soon.

You're so sweet, Lisa. I hope you're feeling better. I've been thinking about you.

Me, too, Angela.

It's good to have you back, Coffee. Yes, it's certainly made a big difference for me and for my family.

It's funny, Jason, but sometimes I go over and read your blog and find I'm feeling or have been thinking about things that you post. I think our personalities might be fairly similar.

The dogs do like this weather. We've been walking quite a bit and if the weather holds, we're going to the dog park across town tomorrow. It's great to have you, Crystal.

I do think moving as a child probably helps when moving as an adult, Elizabeth. I'm sorely inexperienced there. I spent the night before my wedding in the same bedroom I spent my first night home from the hospital. That stanza is actually a verse from a Sarah MacLachlan song. Her writing is like poetry.

Faye said...

I hear you Kaycie--some days we get lucky and just feel at peace and quietly happy and contented with our life. It takes a long time to feel at home in a new place, but the day comes when it's just right.