a prideful home

There is something to be said about a person who takes care of and pride in their home. I hope to be that kind of person one day.

My favorite home was the little apartment that Tyler and I shared the first year or so that we were married. We had no expectations or need for anything better. And so it simply was our home.

Since then we have migrated from place to place searching for an ideal, the perfect home, the perfect place to raise our kids. We have never finished unpacking, we have never decorated, we have never made these migrational places into a home. Because they simply are not and will never be our home.

But, what if what we are looking for is where we started? What if home is not perfect at all? What if it simply is?

I have ideas of what I consider to be a quality way of life. I think a town with a Whole Foods, a farmer's market, and U-pick farms would be ideal. A Target and Ikea mixed in with local antique and flea markets would elevate my style. And I can't forget about beautiful parks, recreational centers, and running paths for teaching the kids about health, play, and real entertainment. I would like to live in a place with seasons - with swimming in the summer, leaf jumping in the fall, snow on Christmas, and flowers in the spring. I want to live somewhere where I can afford a house. A place where I can work to live, not live to work. My list is long and continues to grow.

But as Tyler and I were dreaming up this list while lying awake that first year or so of marriage, we forgot one thing. We forgot about our existing roots, our existing family, our existing home.

Tyler's Aunt Tess was born and raised in Stanford, Montana. It is not fancy, it does not have a single thing listed from my requests above - well, except for the seasons, of course. And yet, she has chosen to stay. She saw in her simple town something that I overlooked. She saw that it was her home. That she could invest in her community, that she could make it whatever she wanted.

We went to visit her and see all that she has done. I expected to see a small town - typical and run down with age. But instead I saw a beautiful and picturesque home, full of life and warmth. Tess has planted flowers in front of every business, she put grass, benches, privacy fences, light poles, and murals in between all the buildings. The entire town has a sparkle and a glow because she chose to stay. Because she chose to call it home. Because she saw something in a town that most others disregarded. Let us all learn from Tess.

It doesn't have a Target, it doesn't have trendy places to gather, and it has never been found on a "best places to live" list. But it is a real town, with real people who work really hard. And it is beautiful.

And so just like that, there is nothing on my list that could trump going home. To be with my family. To take my kids to the places I loved as a child. To grow an appreciation for what is, and not what could be. But life is complicated, and for now home is out of our reach.

share sheet