Everyone needs a home away from home, at least at some point in their lives.
This week I get to return to the place that was my second home for nearly ten years – the home of my “Aunt” Lorna in Dallas. (Technically she’s a second cousin but Aunt Lorna just sounds better.)
I remember when I first fell in love with Aunt Lorna. I was an eight-year-old girl navigating her first funeral, the first loss of a grandparent. Lorna was one of many relatives who had flown in for the services. But there was something about her that drew me in. She’s the quintessential Texas lady – sweet, classy, gentle and, well, Southern. I quickly declared her my favorite and I’m pretty sure I followed her around at all the family gatherings.
I remember visiting her beautiful home on a family vacation the summer I was 14. It was one of the highlights of the trip for me.
I’d get to see her every couple years at a family reunion or, as with the pic below, at a cousin’s wedding. (We will not be discussing my fashion or hair choices, thank you very much.)
Fast forward to age 18, and I was attending college in NW Arkansas. That’s a long way from Phoenix, but Dallas was only a six hour drive. That meant that Aunt Lorna’s became my secondary holiday home when going to Phoenix wasn’t feasible. And she welcomed not just me, but Mark as well, even before we were married. I remember one visit where Mark went out running and later called the house. He decided he didn’t want to have to run all the way back and could he have a ride? Of course she obliged and we had a good laugh.
After graduation Mark was stationed in San Antonio which cut our drive to her house by an hour. We spent more than one Thanksgiving with Lorna, her husband John and their extended family.
Four years later we moved to Dallas and lived 20 minutes away. We were finally able to take our turn hosting, inviting them to dinner in our little duplex town home.
They became an even bigger part of our lives those two years, and got to be one of the first visitors to meet Noah when he was born.
Nine months later we moved back to Phoenix. But because I kept working for the same Dallas-based company, I would fly in about once a month and stay with them for a couple of days.
It always felt like coming home.
It’s been a long 11 years, but presenting a workshop this Saturday is giving me the chance to return “home” once again. I can’t wait!
Do you have a home away from home?