There’s a lot to be said for coming home for the holidays, reconnecting with family and friends, and spending days in your old bedroom. To me, this is a holiday routine – I always come home and I love coming home. My house becomes chaotic (a total of four girls will have that effect) and we tend to fall into our same old sister roles, with slight differences over the years. What I like most is the fact that any old routine is possible. Of course, we are somewhat improved every year.
When I am at home, I feel as though I’ve entered a time warp – one that offers familiarity at all turns, security, family and friends, memories, and traditions. Home seems like a bubble. When I’m home, it’s almost as if I could easily step back into time at any point during my life, at any age.
My sisters and I unknowingly tested this theory last Saturday when we all arrived home. It actually snowed! It hadn’t snowed with all four of us home in at least four years. When we were little kids, we’d bundle up and head out the door, sleds in tow, dog following along, and play in the snow for hours. We did this that Saturday, playing at the schoolyard, making snow angels, running and sliding, racing, and all the time laughing and shrieking like little girls without a care in the world, except for cold fingers. This night has its place as one of my favorites in our sister history.
The time-warp of home enables me to imagine what it’s like for someone to return to their rundown town years later and still see it in its glory, with people out and about, shops open, and everyday life all around. It is easy to overlook the disparities of an old, drafty window or a less than perfect backyard because it is my house and yard, filled with my family’s memories, in all of which I easily slip into my rightful place.
I can only hope that everyone has such a place that allows them to step back into time, whether for moments or a few weeks. Sometimes it is hard for outsiders to see what is so special about one place, because they are not capable of looking past the imperfections; however, someone who belongs to that place can easily pass along its history and significance, whatever that may mean to the storyteller. And details of that nature are irreplaceable.