A popular question to ask a new acquaintance is…“So where’s your home?” With our increasingly mobile society, that’s not an easy question. Where is home? Is it where we were raised or where we raised our family? The answer is different for each person. I’ve lived in too many places to call any particular place home but my grandparent’s residences in Utah were always an anchor to me. Visiting them during my growing up years felt like coming home. (Photo above was taken in 1949 in Eureka, Utah at my grandma's house. That's me in the middle of the snow.) Unfortunately, both my grandparent's houses are no longer standing. Now I realize it wasn’t the actual physical structures, but the relationship I had with them that made it home.
While in Texas recently, we were able to see my husband’s physical home in the town where he was born and raised. During a cousin’s reunion there, we also traveled to his maternal grandparents farm nearby. It was fun to listen to my husband tell of his adventures as a young child with his grandparents. Their farm house is still preserved and owned by a cousin, so we were able to tour inside and walk the surrounding property.
Memories flooded my husband’s mind as he walked through his grandparents’ home. The walls, windows, stairs and surroundings of the house reminded him of fond experiences with his family. Big Momma cooked the meals on this stove. She made me little pancakes that looked like a snowman. I slept on this enclosed porch in the hot humid summers with an old electric fan. Out by the pump house I built a fort and played. As we walked outside through the pasture and by a small creek flowing nearby, the stream had been damned up to make a fishing hole, my husband recalled…Here I went fishing with my grand dad. The remnants of hundreds of pecan trees that were planted to make an orchard still remain as a witness to his grand dad’s industry.
His grandparents owned a country store which is still standing. (Photo above is his mom and grand dad Laxson at the country store in Purmela, Texas-click to enlarge.) My husband helped out there during the summers: candling eggs, and developing good work habits by helping in this family enterprise. He had returned to his home but it wasn’t the same as his grandparents and parents were no longer there. All he had was the memories of his experiences with his kinfolk and a sense of belonging that only home can give you.