Home is truly where the heart is. I have two places I call home and they are almost 2,000 miles away from each other. Both places I call home is where my family is. The apartment I live in is one of these homes. It is where my husband, three children and sister are. It is a wonderful place to be. There is only one thing I would change if I could, this home would be almost 2,000 miles away also.
I miss the place that I left on March 18, 2011. That is the other home. That is where almost the rest of my family is, except for a brother, his wife and 4 children. I affectionately refer to this as home on a regular basis. When I am sitting in my apartment and I tell my husband that I wish I was home, he knows what I am talking about. He doesn't look at me like I am crazy and ask where I think I am right now. He knows that I long for the days in Olean.
I miss the long days sitting in my parents' backyard on the swings and watching the children play. They have beautiful flower gardens back there that we would sit and swing by. There were hundreds of hours spent sitting back there, laughing and talking, or just thinking. I would go out there and just lay down on the swing and think at times. It was a place of peaceful solitude. My dad can grill food like no other. He can make regular meat taste extraordinary. I would sometimes go in the backyard and swing while he would flip burgers, chicken, steak, Italian sausage or hotdogs. Regardless of what it was, we all knew we were in for a treat when he asked for the pan to be brought out to put the cooked food on. My dad also makes the best spaghetti sauce in the world, my kids refer to it as "Grandpa's Secret Sauce." Whenever I make spaghetti, my daughter says that she wishes we could have "Grandpa's Secret Sauce." The other thing that gets mentioned frequently is Mom's Fried Pan Stew. This was passed down from her grandmother, to her father, I do believe. It is wonderful!
I miss the long evenings of softball. My father was an amazing softball player and my brothers are now. My first word was "ball," because Dad played softball during my infant years, well into my 20s. There was a hiatus for him when we moved up to NY, but he eventually started playing again. I believe he even played a game or two, competitively, in his 60s. I would see the lights of a ballpark and I guess I would yell "ball." That love has never gone away. My brother was telling me last night how it is weird not having the big cheering section in the outfield during games. All I could do was agree, I am definitely there in spirit! I sit here at night and wish I was at a ballpark watching my brothers playing their game.
I miss Sunday football at my parents' house. Although I haven't actually missed it yet, I know that I am going to. We moved after football season ended and it hasn't started yet, but I know what will be happening on Sundays even though I won't be there. There will be a house full of people, sprawled out all over the family room, watching whatever game is on at the time. It is a time when not only family, but many friends, pile into the house, and enjoy several hours of games. I would make brownies every Sunday after church and we would have those, along with something that was usually a quick thing to make/eat between getting home from church and football starting. It was often hotdogs, sausage or sandwiches. Sometimes we would eat that, then have brownies, then forget to eat the rest of the day, because we were enjoying the time so much.
I miss being able to go to the YMCA with members of my family. My mom and I would go water walking in the therapy pool, which is a pool that was warmer than the other pool. We don't really care to be cold. My sisters would join us when we would go at a time that was convenient for them. We would generally walk for 30 minutes to an hour. By the time we finished, we would be sweaty. It was a good workout. We joined some Mission Meltdowns, where there would be many members of our family on a team. It was a fun time. One time, the whole team was family. That was a good time. It was nice to be able to participate as a family.
I guess I can just sum it all up by saying I miss the family, the times together, the laughs, the conversations, the trips, the movies, the times we would go out to eat...
My parents' house is for sale now. This is the house that I grew up in, I lived in from the time I was 9 until I was 18, then during summers while I was in college. This is the house that I moved back into after college was over and I lived there until I moved to California, where the love of my life was living at the time. This is the place that when I moved back to Olean, I would spend many hours with my family, including my husband and children. This is the place that I call home. Although I am excited to have them move closer to us, and they are excited to do it, it will be weird to not have that as HOME. So, if you read this, and are looking for a HOME in Western NY (or know anyone that is)... there is a beautiful place in middle of a small town, about 15000 people, that is waiting for someone to buy it, I hear it went on the market today. The house has been a place of love and happiness. I believe that a home carries the disposition of the people that have lived in it.