This & That Vol. 23,342

Election day 2016

Yesterday was wild, huh? After months of all the yelling and arguing and campaigning and now it’s done. Over. I drove to the polling place yesterday and waited in line with a coffee and a book in my hand (in case it took a long time). And I realized as I walked up to the door that I felt no joy or hope in the act of voting. It was a sense of heaviness, of fear. Uncertainty. It doesn’t feel like freedom, does it, when you are forced to vote for a candidate you never would have chosen to begin with?

Regardless. God is on his throne, the sun still shines. And life goes on.

After I left the polling place, I made a little jog over to my Grandmother Blanche’s neighborhood. She passed in the year after Simon and I were married and I haven’t been back over there since. Growing up, my mom and I were always running by Grandmother’s, and we had a specific route. The same way in and out of the neighborhood.  Mentally I can recreate that exact pathway, still see the houses and the specific things that my childhood mind always noticed. And so I drove that exact way this time, for the first time in years.

The one house across from the elementary school that always had the best Christmas decorations and blowmold nativity display (already up in the window).  The beautiful home where my Dad’s pharmacist lived. The house with the cement elephants out front (they were still there!) where one time my mom stopped and asked the lady where to get one because she had a little blonde girl who adored them (and she went to get one for me). Then there it was – locked in time, my Grandmother’s home. Still a pale shade of mint green with the pinkish brick. It looked just as it had my entire life. And I sat there in front of it and I cried big huge tears. I cried for her like I hadn’t in years and it was so crazy cathartic.

It was my second home, that little house. It wasn’t anything fancy or even fashionable but it was home. She was another mother to me in so many ways – a mother of six, herself. She died before I had Jude or Archer and I have a billion questions about motherhood I wish I could ask her and how did she do it. I wish I could show her how her beautiful china cabinet and buffet were in a magazine this past month.

All that to say, home is everything, isn’t it? It isn’t so much the decor and the paint colors (although that sets the stage and creates the backdrop), but it’s the magic that happens inside. It’s pretending your grandmother’s lace curtains are a bridal veil with your closest cousin or making memories with an old mattress that doubles as a fort. It’s all the cousins together with relatives galore, and all the differing opinions and that pumpkin pie your aunt asked you to make for Thanksgiving your junior year of college even though you’d never made a pumpkin pie in your life.

Home matters. And when things feel rocky in the world, I am reminded of the safety and security of what it was like in my childhood.

It’s everything I want to create for my own children.


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