Semantics: Back or Home?

photo-4This is my home now. I moved 8 months ago, have somewhat settled in, and am getting used to being a northerner again. I’m having difficulty with words to express my home of so many years in Tallahassee and my new home here in Lords Valley. It’s an odd thing how such a simple word can elicit such strong feelings. For example, when I refer to the house on Walton Drive in Tallahassee, I continue to call it home even though it’s not. 1207 Walton FrontI consciously try to refer to this home on Longridge Drive in Lords Valley as home but it’s not quite there yet. So, I have taken to using the word “back” when talking about my old home and “here” when talking about my new home. Both of those words, however, seem a bit cold, too generic, and not at all descriptive.

Planning a trip to Tallahassee next month has renewed this dilemma. Am I going home? Or, am I going back? When we think of home most of us get a warm feeling of welcome, familiarity, and comfort. Back indicates returning to a place you’ve once been to, not necessarily one that has any meaning or one that has a lifetime’s worth of memories. I am going to visit Tallahassee because I miss my friends and family and would like to spend time other than Skype or email talking, discussing issues, and hearing about what’s going on in their lives. I’m desperate for a dinner at Kool Beanz, breakfast at Tally Grille, and lunch at the Seminole Golf Club. Does this point to the fact that Tallahassee is home?

Today I have some chores to take care of and then will come home to prepare for a friend coming over for wine and snacks. There, I said it: coming home. Perhaps home is my stuff. My furniture, artwork, pottery, photos of family, the dog (not in that order). Maybe it’s being closer to my children and having the opportunity to see them much more often than I did when living in Tallahassee. (We all know how difficult it is getting in and out of Tallahassee.) Or, maybe it’s just a state of mind that evolves as I start a new phase of my life. I am a very impatient person so I think it’s taking much too long and I’m still yearning for things that I got used to — being able to find frozen okra in the store to make gumbo, cheese grits, Publix, buying wine in the grocery store, buying beer, diversity, warmth! If I ever write that I miss the humidity, however, you will know there is something very wrong! I will likely get my fill when I’m there in February. Looking forward to going home and then I will no doubt look forward to getting home as well!

One reply

  1. lyndab says:

    Well said, Pat. I had many of those same thoughts when Brian and I moved to North Carolina from Jacksonville, Florida. Your history travels with you and just grows as you move forward.

    Your home has always been a great place to be!