I get “homesick” … a lot. If you are my friend on Facebook, you’ve seen it … a lot. If you’re my sister who I text and Facebook message everyday, you heard about it … a lot. If you read any of my blogs, you’ve read it … a lot.
But here’s the thing. I live 3500 miles from our last duty station and Josh’s family and about 2000 miles from own family back in Arkansas so it’s natural to miss home, right? But as you may or may not have read here, I don’t really miss Arkansas or Connecticut or Georgia. I don’t miss the snow, the heat, or the scenery. I don’t miss those places at all because I don’t really count any of them or Washington as my “home” anymore. I haven’t lived in my “home” state in over fifteen years, and in those fifteen years, I have lived in four different states at three different duty stations in seven different houses. So where is my home? Where are my roots?
I choose to place my roots in my family. I have roots in Josh and the kids, and I have roots in my sister, my mom, and in all my in-laws. However, in day-to-day living, my most important roots are in the family the Navy has brought to me. From my best-Georgia-friend, Nicole, who sent me a beautiful and unexpected plant for Easter, to my best-Ohio-friend, Mardi, with whom I share an unnatural obsession with Charlie and Lola, to my best-Connecticut-friend, Vici, who I will always remember in a fabulous red coat marching up the street to tell me just where to buy all the best groceries in Groton. These are the people I call home. They keep me grounded. They are my roots.
On Sunday at the last moment, I invited my best-Washington-friend, Judy, and her three amazing kids to hunt eggs and share Easter dinner with my family. I didn’t have a thing planned ahead. I didn’t have enough eggs stuffed or extra Easter baskets, and I was pretty sure that the tiny ham I bought weeks ago for my little family wasn’t going to stretch for an additional four people.
So I added Caribbean Jerk Chicken to the Easter menu and an extra bag of frozen green beans to the pot. Josh and I made a last-minute trip to Safeway for salad veggies and dinner rolls and had a little Easter hunt of our own for extra plastic eggs (success on an end cap!). In the end our three teens hid a few dozen eggs for our three kids to hunt and seek while three adults watched and snapped pictures. We pushed three seriously mismatched folding tables together on one tiny back deck with nine random lawn, folding, and dining rooms chairs smooshed all around for an Easter dinner that I will likely never forget.
I wasn’t “homesick” for Easter because my “home” is my family, and my family spans the country. On Sunday there is no where I’d rather have been than seated around those mismatched tables with my big ole Navy family cause that’s what I call home.