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How To Define Home

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Right now, we are on the way home from vacation.

Coming back from the East coast, it is hard to believe that two years have passed since we first moved our way out West.  "Which do you prefer, California or Connecticut?" our friends and family have asked. How can I answer that question? Where is home?

When we arrived at Bradley Airport in Hartford CT, what stood out was the rust that covered the Aluminum that lined the airport entry doors. Looking a bit sad and worn, the airport reverberated when we began to talk. It was 6 p.m. and it was empty. There were no vacation travelers. There were no business travelers.Getting on the highway was easy.

My husband arrived first and secured a minivan. A gentleman pulled up in a wagon ahead of him outside of arrivals.  Thinking he was my husband, my 20-year-old began waving. He energetically waved back. 

On the way into our small town of Cheshire, the streets were empty. The glare from the streetlights reflected off the newly formed puddles from a passing New England thunderstorm. My mother would be waiting for us. She had prepared ribs, crispy potatoes wedges and a tossed salad in preparation for our arrival. We would stop for homemade ice cream at Sweet Claude’s, mint with large chunks of shaved chocolate, and take it for dessert. 

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Was this sleepy town the same as the hustle and bustle of the prosperous Silicone Valley where we were now living? Did it have perfect sunny days every day and majestic mountains? Was it sitting in the middle of a manicured vineyard? No, no, and no. Yet, I couldn’t help but love it. 
 
This was home. This is where I grew up. This is where all the people that I have invested 46 years in life and work. After pondering this question, the answer hit me this morning when I went into my favorite doughnut shop before our flight back west.

It wasn’t the perfectly encrusted pastry loaded with powder and stuffed with raspberry jelly that resounded.  It was familiarity. I anticipated what the girls behind the counter would ask. I knew exactly what I wanted.  I knew what the man who waved to my daughter in the airport was thinking  

Cheshire, CT may be a sleepy town but it was my hometown. When I jogged the streets people beeped and waved hello. I couldn’t go to the grocery store without being stopped by friends or family. I will never compare this with someplace new. When people ask me where I love best, I tell them home, the place that will be with me for the rest of my life.   
 
For more parenting stories and life tips visit www.lifewithwendy.com.

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