Where is Home?

The cabin got a new coat of paint, new trim, and the deck redone.

The cabin got a new coat of paint, new trim, and the deck redone.

I’m back up at my cabin in the mountains, at Munds Park and it feels like I’ve come home. I start yearning for the mountains in the beginning of April. I usually come up for a week in April but this year. When I unlocked my door, it’s like the place has been hermetically sealed and am Snow White, awakened from my winter slumber from the soft kiss of pine scent on my cheek.
And yet when October comes, and it gets nippy. No, be honest, it gets cold and I can’t read the paper on the porch any more. I think of my condo in Scottsdale and yearn to go back to the Valley of the sun. When I get there, and turn on the fountain on my front patio, and drink my tea and read the newspaper on the porch in the morning, I feel like I’ve come home. So where is home?
People talk about their “home towns.” I was born in New York City but the family moved to the New Jersey suburbs when I was two and a half. Is New York City my home town? Not really. I grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey and consider that to be my home town. My parents moved away from there teen years after I finished high school and none of my close friends went back to live there after college. The last time I visited there, at least ten years ago, it seemed strange and familiar. A few of the placed I hung out were still there, but the woods behind my childhood home had been developed. There were only a few businesses left that I remembered. The Butterflake Bakery is still making its seven layered cake. But Tabatchnik’s Deli,from which my father would bring back bagels, lox, and whitefish on Sunday mornings, is gone. Also missing is Holder’s Stationery, where Linda and I stopped after school every day to get candy bars and chewing gum. Ho Yuan, where Linda, Susan and I stopped after a hard day in high school and order egg rolls and tea, has disappeared. And the pizza place where we always ordered anchovy pizza. I didn’t realize that pizza came without anchovies until I was twelve and went into New York City on the bus to meet friends from summer camp. I was shocked to find out I could get a plain slice. So Teaneck’s not home anymore.
In this mobile society I have set up homes in East Cleveland, Cleveland, and five places in Phoenix. When the housing bubble burst a few years ago and everyone was frantic when their homes lost fifty percent of their value, I wasn’t concerned. The next time I move to another home, it will be to assisted living. I hope I’ll have the wherewithal to help choose that place, but one never knows. So for now, I’ll just enjoy the two homes I have. They are not just residences, they’re homes.


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