Remember this little stranded alien that those great kids befriended back in 1982? And what is the one word you remember him repeating over and over? Yeah. Me too.
Where would you like to go? Home. Please.
Ah, yes: Home, sweet home. Home on the range? Carry me back to Old Virginny? Big D.? O-k-l-a-h-o-m-a! Mars?
So where is home to you? Not your address although, on second thought, it could be. Down deep in your psyche, what is home to you?
Americans change addresses on an average of every four years. So where is Home? Where you hang your hat? I don’t think so.
I have a little story (of course, I always do) about this word. It started with a little game we played in the car, our little family of five. It was a spontaneous response, for want of a better description, game. Here’s how it goes: Take round-robin turns as leader. Leader says a word and the rest of the players, without thinking or hesitation, call out the word that comes into their consciousness when they hear the word. It always ended in laughter.
Now back to circa 1982. We had spent a long business day in San Francisco, and there was a two hour drive home. The back seat was empty, the kids had left the nest. But we decided to play the game, the two of us, because we were so sleepy. A big seafood dinner on Fishermen’s Wharf will do that.
We knew each other so well after years of marriage,that the game had little zest to it. Then the eye-opener.
“Lovely,” I offered.
“Martha!” my husband spontaneously replied. Huh? (My name is not Martha.)
Now we were both awake. “I don’t know where that came from,” he lamely said with his eyebrows arched up to his hairline. And that was the only explanation he could offer. Hmmm.
Flash forward three months. We had ended another foggy day in San Francisco and were back at our favorite table in our favorite restaurant. We’d timed it just right, so we could watch the commercial fishermen unload their catch.
Suddenly my handsome husband covered his face with his hands and his shoulders shook. Crying? No, laughing.
He could only point. The boat hitched up to the dock outside our window was The Lovely Martha! Case closed.
Recently I was playing that old game with my grandchildren when the word “home” was offered. “Colorado” my true self responded. Wha? Hadn’t Lived there for fifty years. But my heart knew. Colorado is my true home, the place I spent my formative years.
So I had to try that word on the old guy who sits across the breakfast table. And he came through. “Home!” I said with gestures to hurry. He dithered for a mili-second, and called the best one ever.