Home Is Where…

Today’s Happy Note: Family dinner!  I have not had a beautiful, home cooked family dinner with all members of my family (mom, dad, sister, me, cat) present at the same time in months, if not a year or more.  It was delicious, comforting, and loving.  🙂  And yes, my parents are divorced.  They’re still best friends!

Vegetables galore!

Pad thai cooking away!  My sister has the best pad thai recipe outside of Thailand.

My sister and me! Some people seem to think we’re twins, others think we look nothing alike.  She’s actually five years older.


Yesterday (Friday): 6 mile run plus four hours worth of MOVING  which I did entirely by myself.  It was a serious workout.  At one point a friend helped me lift a huge box back onto a dolly, and another friend returned a rolling bin for me, but everything else was all me.  Independent women rule.

Today (Saturday): Travelling with heavy bags.  Hey, that’s serious — I was lugging my bags around for five hours.  Won’t go into the details of why (JFK airport=evil) but suffice it to say my arms are feeling it right now.

So as you’ve probably noticed by now, yesterday I MOVED and today I am “HOME”. But, proximity does not imply relationship!  I did move, but not back home.  I moved into my apartment for the summer and then flew back to Michigan today.  Needless to say it’s been an exhausting two days, and I want to go cuddle with my sister and have some ice cream right about now.

Up in the air!

Random selection of eats from the past few days:

Biscoff.  In honor of Kath!

Cookie Friday and caramel fudge lite choice in one day.  It was that kind of a day.

Storytime: Home

Two and a half years ago, after about a semester of living in NYC, I felt decently at home there.  I knew that I felt a special connection to the city and that it would probably be an extraordinarily meaningful place for me.  I knew how I felt looking across the rivers, finding beautiful buildings, or noticing a depth of cultural diversity.  I knew these things made me thrilled and happy and I even referred to the city as my “home.”  Well, actually, I thought of the city as one of my homes, with my town in Michigan and the house that I grew up in being my other home.  They were both my special places.  In Michigan, I have open spaces with the most lovely pumpkin fields and running trails that wind lazily through meadows.  In New York, I have wonderful buzzing streets and 20-story buildings and thousands of restaurants in reach.

My father picked me up from the airport this afternoon.  As we made our way along the highway and then along smaller city roads and then onto the little side street where my house sits — looking content and almost serene — I had one of the biggest realizations I’ve had in a long while: New York is not only where I live now.  It is my home.  New York being my home was a story that I told myself for the last three years, and in a small sense, it was true.  But in the larger sense — of “home” being where my life and love and passions and future and everyday joy comes from — I wasn’t quite ready to declare the city my home.  It is now, and I suddenly knew this quite clearly today.

At the same time I feel a deep longing for my family.  I am not a child, but I am still a rather young person: I’m twenty years old.  I have been living on my own for three years now and I still miss them deeply, daily.  Many people refer to “home” as a place where their family is, and in that sense, I will always have a home in Michigan.  But in 5-10 years I think I will have my own family and I believe that it will surely be in New York.  With that said, being here, with the three people in the world for whom I have the most powerful, beautiful feeling of love, is a gift.  My mother, sister, and I have not lived together in seven years.  That’s more than a third of my life.  I intend to treasure this time with them (a week and a half) as I suspect that, outside of vacations, it is the last time we will be together in one place.  And not any place either, our original home.  Where we climb crab apple trees and jump from thick ropy willows and hide under the sleeping bags in the basement and sit at the same mahogany walnut wood dining table that we have sat at since before I was born.

The conclusion?  I love both places — among other places that are meaningful,including a special spot in Northern Michigan and Ottawa, the capital of Canada — but New York has moved from a place that I live to a home.  When I walk down Broadway and know exactly how the ground feels at every street corner, I know this.  I feel it.  When I lie down in the sun in Central Park I feel a bit like a compass, sometimes.  Like a compass that knows exactly where it’s pointing and wants to point in that direction.  I sprawl out into a star shape, my limbs different places in my life.  And through all this, I am centered in the city.  The gorgeous, flying city.  City like a flock of birds.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maggie @ Fit.Fun.Food
    May 15, 2010 @ 22:31:09

    This was a really beautiful post girl! Very well written!


  2. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    May 15, 2010 @ 22:33:43

    This was a lovely post, Caronae! It’s hard being apart from family (for most people) but for me, well, we are not close. My sister, yes. Me and my mom, no. Never have been. I think it’s so cool that you’re all 3 together for 10 days…and you are so wise to realize that it could be the last time for a very long time, possibly ever. Wisdom..you have so much of it!

    Independent women rule. Yes. They do. Congrats on the move, solo style!


  3. Sarah
    May 16, 2010 @ 01:10:39

    Beautifully written, and also made me think about what makes a place ‘home’. I’m at ‘home’ with my parents now, but it doesn’t really feel like ‘home’ like my flat in Sheffield did. You and your sister do look like sisters, but not twins in my opinion. Two very pretty ladies though if I say so myself 😉 Glad you got chance to spend some time together.

    I love the fact that you use creative writing therapeutically, and if you ever fancy sharing more in your blog, I would love to see it…of course I understand this sort of thing is often quite personal. I have some art which I’d never show anyone…

    Sarah x


  4. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine
    May 16, 2010 @ 07:58:56

    It must feel so good to be with your family 🙂 Since I transferred, New York doesn’t quite feel like “home” yet, but I love it. At the same time though, I grew up in the countryside and will always love the peace and quiet!

    You and your sister look SO MUCH ALIKE!! Hope you enjoy your time together!


  5. Kate
    May 16, 2010 @ 08:58:28

    first of all, that pad thai looks OUTSTANDING! yay for sisters who can cook 🙂

    i understand the struggle to find home. my parents moved between my junior and senior year of college and the recently moved again. minneapolis really does feel like my home now even tho i lived in four different rentals in my six years in the city. it is definately my home!


  6. Katherine: What About Summer?
    May 16, 2010 @ 18:01:32

    great post; I can’t figure out my home right now


  7. Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce
    May 16, 2010 @ 19:56:48

    home is where the heart is fo sho 😉

    i LOVE biscoffs! i found some at tj maxx, oddly enough. love that your cat is included on the guest list for family dinner lol


  8. Erica
    May 16, 2010 @ 21:53:00

    Great job moving yourself! That is awesome! I agree- it feels SO good to do a big job all on your own. The pad thai looks super tasty- enjoy all the time with your family. Interesting thoughts on where home is for you. I have moved around a good deal, but with and without my parents/sister and finally feel at true home now in Charleston. Its a wonderful feeling 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: