Today I was able to go “home” earlier than anticipated and was reminded why I will always call my parents’ house “home”.

Home always smells the same. From the smell of the cigarette smoke to the smell of the plugged in air freshener, I always know I am home when the smell touches my nose. Today there was no amazing smell from the kitchen because it was 3:00 and my dad was not home yet to start cooking dinner, but on most days when I stop over, it smells like something amazing is cooking in the oven (meat, meat and more meat).

Home has always looked the same. The living room furniture is in its 30th year of being in the same place. We were never allowed to sit on the couch or chairs unless there was company. The dining room has been arranged in the same way for 30 years – nothing has changed except that there has been a few new coats of paint on the walls thanks to my brother-in-law. Bedrooms have changed over the years, but my mom’s love for Disney has not, she even has a room completely dedicated to Mickey Mouse and his pals now that we are moved out.

Home is a place where I feel like doing chores is a must. I often do dishes when I am there and today I even shoveled half of the driveway for my parents. I don’t have to shovel my own driveway because we live in a townhouse and pay for that service. Then my dad reminded me that I could have used the electric snowblower (what would have been the fun in that – we never got to use that when we were kids).

Home is a place where I am always welcome. No need to knock at the door, just walk right in. No need to have a key, just open the garage with the code. No need to call ahead, even when no one is home, just wait around and someone will show up. If not, leave a note and stop by another day.

Home will always be home. Even my phone says so. There is a distinction between “Home”, which I have known for 37 years, and “Our home” that I have created for my family. I hope that my kids will remember “Home” the way that I do.


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