Thank you, Bon Jovi, for my excellent title. While I'm sure someone more important than him actually coined the phrase, I prefer to give him my props. So, who says you can't go home? But what if you don't know where home is?
According to the Scrabble dictionary, which is the only dictionary I've used in recent times, 'home' is referred to as ones place of residence. Okay- that's pretty basic. Wikipedia says 'home' is a place of residence or refuge. It is usually a place where ones family can rest and store personal property. Hmm... I'm sensing a trend here. It goes on to say that 'home can also be a mental or emotional state of refuge or comfort. Ding ding ding! Bingo- that hits it on the head! So that being said, can one have multiple homes?
For the last decade or so I've always considered myself to have at least two homes. In college it was Columbia and St. Louis. When I moved to Chicago it was there and St. Louis. When we moved here it became St. Thomas, St. Louis and Chicago. Although we technically don't have a Scrabble-defined home in Chicago (well, one that we could enter without being maced and violating our tenants lease) I still considered it to be home. Besides, that property makes us pay IL taxes!! I had spent the last 8 years there, Tim 10, and we had built a life. Yet when we moved to the islands and had to determine where we would come back to we decided go 'home' to St. Louis. Technically we have a residence in Missouri, I mean, our storage unit stores all of our personal property! Moving here and knowing we were never returning to Chicago was a big decision for us. For those of you who have read the blog from the beginning you know how quickly that decision was made. For those of you who have not- just go read the first post. Had we made the right one? Well, after our first visit 'home' to both Chicago and St. Louis I think we have an answer: home is where your heart is and our hearts reside with the Saints- Thomas and Louis.
Don't get me wrong Chicago, I loved visiting but that's the key word- I felt like a visitor, not someone returning home. Chicago is a very transient city- lots of people move there after college and move home (or to the 'burbs) when they are ready to start a family. And, let's be honest, if you move to the 'burbs you may as well be in another state anyways. That being said, we've had a lot of friends take the plunge and leave the city so our core group of friends has changed quite a bit. While we got to see nearly everybody (thanks guys for coming out to Fernandos, The Boundary and Casa Bonita!) there were quite a few people who I thought would have made the effort that just didn't. And that sucked. It certainly helped put things in perspective- we had officially moved out of Chicago, physically and emotionally. Maybe part of the problem was that we had so much fun on Friday night when we got there we were drained for the rest of the trip!!
On the other hand, going to St. Louis, I couldn't get enough time there. I extended my stay three times! I was originally supposed to fly out the 8th but changed that about a month before the trip. Then I changed it to the 11th on the 7th and the 12th on the 9th. Thank you lord for AA not charging change fees on Frequent Flier tickets!! And I still feel like I didn't get to spend enough time with friends and family. I thought about where we'd want to live when we get back. I thought about all the fun times we'll have with friends and family. And while I'm not ready to do it anytime soon- I'm excited to know that we made the right decision in moving 'home' to St. Louis after our crazy island adventure.
And as for that crazy island? Man, it was good to get home... :)