It's Saturday night, and I'll be homeward bound in the a of the m.
I'm in a very bittersweet frame of mind.
I'm not entirely sure why I'm so drawn to empty homes.
But I am.
The older the better, the more dilapidated, the better.
I swear at times, I can smell dinner and hear the snap of the sheets blowing in the wind on the line.
Lives were started here, perhaps lives finished.
Dreams were born, stories were shared, storms - weathered.
Since the death of both my parents within months of each other,
nearly 10 years ago now - I've felt a bit like an empty home.
When we all left Chicago in 1988 - I realized I could never 'go home' again.
Quickly, my parents home in the suburbs of Illinois became ' going home' from my Indiana home.
After my parents' death - I quickly latched on to my mom's sister - my beloved Aunt Jean -
and her home in Missouri became 'home'.
I could still 'go home'.
I could still smell those familiar smells, and see those familiar faces, and cover up with that familiar quilt.
After her death in 2007 - her son's home - my cousin - became 'going home'.
I've been 'home' for the last six days, drinking in all the sights, smells, sounds and tastes that make me feel that I've 'gone home'.
This time tomorrow I'll be home home.
Home with my familiar smells, sights, tastes, sounds and my own quilts.
It makes me happy.
In bittersweet times like these, I'm tempted to take off my rose colored glasses and
view the glass half empty.
I miss my parents.
I miss my aunt's and uncles.
I question my choice to be childless.
Maybe that's why I do love old abandoned buildings and homes so much.
I don't see the missing windows and doors falling off.
I don't see the roof falling in.
I see the joy that was, and could be again with some elbow grease.
I hear the laughter that rang through the halls, and the joy of Christmas mornings past.
I see joy.
I see hope.
And as I pull away from this home tomorrow to go to my other home - I will be filled with immense gratitude for the gift of rose colored glasses.