Friday, February 17, 2012


When I lived with Liahona and baby Eden back in Provo (and back when Eden was a baby), the very best part of my day was walking home from school, and seeing our little yellow house peek out of our neighbor's bushes. That part right before being home. That full hope of home. Since then I have tried to pay careful attention to those specific "best parts." In my Boston home it was often noticing my neighbor's house two doors down. It was easy to notice because it had a large and welcoming garden, and in the fall a small and welcoming table with vegetables on top and a handwritten sign explaining that they were blessed with so much and wanted to share. When the table was outside I would eat a ripe tomato everyday on my way to school and would often grab an eggplant or squash on my way home from school. At my brother's house it was the turn to get onto their street (from either direction). Once you were on their street every house looked so similar that there could be no sign, except for their camaro that I very occasionally had the privilege to drive. That parked car is the singular way I knew I was in the right place. Then at my grandmas house, I knew I was almost home when I saw her roses. My mother had given her the rose bushes many years before and they have prospered under her care. I am not even particularly fond of roses, but I am fond of these "welcome home" ones.

How did we know we were almost home when we lived in Vienna? A restaurant, one block away from our house, with a very I-am-living-out-of-the-country-for-my-first-time-and-I-came-from-Los Angeles-and-I-love-that-you-are-one-block-from-my-house feel. I thank you, Cafe Hollywood.

And then our temporary, renting only part-of-a-house house in Claremont:

It is probably more funny to me than it should be, and even funnier that I didn't notice it the day I moved in, because it was day, and not lit up, and the first time I noticed it was the first time my friend Ayesha drove me home from somewhere, and I was trying to tell her where it was, and she asked, "That one with the cross on it?" and I had to say, "Yes. That one with the cross on it," because it was.

Now (as of February 12th) we live in downtown LA, and I know I am close to home when I see the taco truck of my dreams(!). How do you know you're almost home? Does it fill you with the joy of 100 summers as it does me?


Ayesha said...

Because a lot of my family lived outside of Santa Clarita, when we drove home the landmark that told me we were close was the water tower on the 5N just before the 14. That may be far away for a "close to home" landmark, but every time we went away for a band or choir competition, I would call my mother when we passed the water tower to let her know we were near home.

In college, I would look forward to the school buses that sat in the parking lot at the University Street exit, just a few minutes away from my dorm.

Now, I sit in traffic for so long that any sign of being close to home is welcome, but (again long range), I start to think of home when I pass the 57 at the 10. I feel that home is attainable, and think of dinner and being with E.

It's sad how much I think of the freeway when I think of being "close" to home.

Rachel Hunt said...

I love that first story, and know that landmark well.

And I love that last story. "I feel that home is attainable." That hope.

Boo freeways!! :)