No place like home, wherever it is

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 16, 2012

One year ago today, I stood outside my house, new key in hand, and thought, “I can’t believe I just bought a house.”

The day before, I had braved a monsoon to make it to Opp for the closing on the new house in Andalusia.

I’ve always been someone who over thinks things. And that day was no different. As the rain pounded the windshield, obscuring the road to the point where traffic was at a crawl, it made me wonder if it was God’s way of telling me that buying a new house was a bad, bad idea.

Mountains of paperwork waited at the lawyer’s office, and I swear I signed my name no less than 50 times. With each swirl of the pen, I became more and more confident with my decision.

Just before lunch Tuesday, I got an auto-generated email from the mortgage broker congratulating me on the anniversary of my closing. It made me smile to read it and smirk when I realized how fast time had gone by.

I’d studied it hard before making the decision to move months before. Between work in Andalusia, school in Florala and sports just over the state line, I knew I needed to do something. The fact that I made the right move for us is affirmed after every school event with daughters, soccer game at the Sports Complex and softball game at Johnson Park.

There’s something to be said about creating a home, a space – and a city – that is uniquely you.

Growing up in the country, I never knew what I was missing by not living in town.

The first time we ordered pizza at the new house, it was with much disbelief that I realized my kids had never seen a pizza deliveryman before. When he rolled up in the yard, he was met with exuberance rivaled only by Santa.

The younger two had a hard time adjusting to the fact you can’t run outside chasing your sister in nothing but your skivvies. Thankfully, we’ve crossed that hurdle in the first year, too.

Dorothy had a good line about how there’s no place like home, but I think John Howard Payne’s immortal lines sums it up:

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,

Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home;

A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there,

Which, seek through the world, is ne’er met with elsewhere.

Home, home, sweet, sweet home!

There’s no place like home, oh, there’s no place like home!