The other day I came across a picture of my childhood home where my parents still live. I don’t live very far away, so I still visit there often. Yet, I almost didn’t recognize the house in the photo. It seemed too small. Too ordinary to hold so much of my life story behind it’s walls. In my mind full of decades of memories this ranch house looms extraordinary and larger than life. That’s because it’s more than a house—it’s a home.
There’s No Place Like Home
|Photo of my parents yard courtesy of my sister- the better photographer|
Each time I return to visit my childhood home, when I walk in the door I’m comforted by decades of good, bad, ordinary and extraordinary stories contained within the walls. I don’t see rooms. I see memories.
I remember the room I shared with my sister before moving into my own one once my older sister moved out, the coveted one bathroom for a family of seven, the living room where so many get togethers occurred over the years, and the kitchen where I washed (and still wash) more dishes than I could ever count.
Over the years the furnishings and paint color may have changed, but the exterior of the house remained basically the same. If the walls could talk—oh the stories this home could tell about love and life. Kind of like the experience when you pick up a new book.
When a Book Becomes a Story
Whether it’s a paperback or an ebook, when you first choose it, it’s just another book. Stores have shelves of them just waiting to share their story. Some might have a fancier cover, or be longer or shorter than the other, but for the most part they look about the same on the outside. But that's where the similarities end.
You can tuck a book into your purse and forget about it when you take it with you. That is, until you open the cover. As a reader, you have an amazing ability to carry around an entire world, perhaps a new universe, in the palm of your hand.
Once you begin to read and turn the pages the characters, and the story, come to life. Then you no longer only carry the book in your bag, but you take the story with you in your mind. The author may have lived in this imaginary world with their characters for years as the story was written, but now you’ve come to visit their home.
When You Just Want to Go Home
One definition of the word home is that of a place of refuge. There are days when many of us want nothing more than to go home. To find that familiar, to go where we seamlessly blend in and are welcomed with open arms to forget about that bad or dull day.
I’m lucky that distance doesn’t prevent me from visiting my childhood home almost anytime I want. But there are times when I just want to go home for a quick escape of the demands of the everyday but I can’t, luckily I can escape into a story. My body might remain at the office, the airport, or in the waiting room, but my mind can visit the characters I’ve grown to love, and explore the world created in the story that lives within my imagination.
What about you, do you believe that there's no place like home?
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Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keep her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu, her teen twins & alpha hubby keep her in line. Find Maureen on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.