Monday, January 9, 2012

There’s No Place like Home

I like going out. Really, I do. I enjoy taking the girls to a new restaurant or out for a night of dancing while listening to one of our favorite local bands, Switch. Furthermore, I love our little road trip excursions that take us on new discoveries of small towns that we never knew existed. I also love our friends, that loyal band of wayfarers that continuously help us sail into new adventures that keep life from ever getting boring. However, more than all of that, I love being at home.

One of my best friends, Garth, feels the same way – about his home, of course, not mine. Although he likes hanging out at my house just as I enjoy being at his, and we do quite often; hang out at each other’s house that is. However, we like our own homes better. And why wouldn’t we? We’ve created a world within our concrete domiciles that are our havens from the chaos of the outside world. Furthermore, we’re surrounded by the people we love the most. We don’t just have houses; we have homes. We don’t merely live with people; we thrive with family.

There are seven nights in a week – just in case you had forgotten – and out of those seven nights I want to be at home for eight of them. I don’t want to escape into night clubs or smoky bars where the band plays so loud that I can’t hear what the person next to me is saying. Furthermore, those nights that I do venture out onto the dance floor, I want the girls there with me, and I am fortunate that they feel the same way.

While I was writing the essays about our cruise, Teri said that anyone reading it would think I was quite happy just being the four of us alone. She was right and wrong at the same time. You see we are social people and I thoroughly enjoy when our home is filled with our friends and the laughter they bring. Furthermore, as I said, I love going out and cutting a rug or hitting a karaoke bar to watch people embarrass themselves once in awhile, but I’m always eager to be back home nestled on the back porch reading, writing, or getting my ass beat in Skip-Bo. The kids will filter in and out as well as their friends and ours while music plays only to be drowned out by the laughter.

Isolationists? Hardly. We make new friends all the time and continue to enjoy adventures with our old ones. We just don’t need the diversions and distractions that keep us out of our home or away from each other. There is strength in doing things together as well as unity of spirit and direction. It’s about loving the people closest to you and creating an environment where they can thrive in fulfilling their dreams and desires.

I learned the hard way four years ago that friends are fickle, and while they may be loyal to a cause, they are not necessarily loyal to people. For too many years my family had been pulled out of our home because we were told, “We need you. It’s the right thing to do.” It was then that I learned that there are more Takers in this world than there are Givers, and with that knowledge I became a Keeper. My best goes to my home and the twelve people that make up my family. Places come and go as do people, and there will always be those people who will take from you until you have nothing to give and then they will take their friendship and move on, but family is always there. They are the ones who deserve your best.

I love a good adventure; they’re fun and a great break from routine. However, many people will use them to escape their homes and the people in them. I feel sorry for those individuals; I truly do, because to me the greatest place on earth is my home, and it is filled with the greatest of people.

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