a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

home sweet home (sunday setup 2/17/13)

< by Jill >

When I graduated from high school, I packed all of my belongings into a butter-gold Mercedes station wagon. The trunk accommodated three large plastic bins, one medium suitcase, and one office chair. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to fill my new home at UW-Madison.

When I buckled my seatbelt, a voice inside me rejected this move. It said, You can’t leave here. This is all you know! Drowning out these protests, the engine rumbled to a start, and the car backed down the driveway.

My first home-away-from-home was called Witte Hall, or — in the local tongue — “Shitty Witte.” Sorry for the swear, but it is what it is. From the eighth floor, I overlooked soccer fields and avenues that rippled with drunk kids. Afterward, I moved to Spring Street, or — in the local tongue — “The Sophomore Dorms.” This new home reeked of fish from the day I moved in to the day I, praise Poseidon, moved out.

From there I migrated to the uppity Embassy Apartments. Living at the Embassy was a luxury insofar as daylight and clean carpets are a luxury. Then, I took a two-year layover on Chicago’s south side and finally set roots at my current location alongside Lake Michigan.

Over the course of these moves, two things have become clear:

  1. I tend to accumulate stuff, necessitating an ever-larger moving vehicle.
  2. There’s no place like home.

It doesn’t matter where I move or how long I live there, nothing diminishes my love for my childhood home. It’s the backdrop for my most cherished memories. It’s the place where I learned to walk, talk, read, love, share, and pick the lock on my sister’s diary. It’s the safest, warmest place I know of, and it’s still home to my wonderful parents.

I’m not the only one who feels this kind of allegiance to their childhood home. This week, you’ll hear from Annie, Amy, Jorie, and Brennan, each of whom will share a fond memory of the place where they grew up.

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