What comes to mind when someone says the word “home”? For me it’s a blending of the physical space, those who live within, and the environment just outside my front door. Like many of you, my version of home has taken on different features over the course of my life.
My first home with my parents was a rented flat in a small village in France when my dad was serving in the army. Mom and I spent the days together while Daddy was working. Our landlords, Madame and Monsieur Chevalier, who lived next door, helped care for me and taught me my first French words as a toddler.
Years later, after moving back to the States, my parents bought a four room cinder block house. I was about to turn six and my mom was pregnant with my brother. Throughout elementary school and part of junior high, we lived across the road from Kay, who became my best childhood friend, and her younger brother Alan. Whether walking barefoot to a tiny rural store for candy or playing cards on the cool concrete of our front porch, we made wonderful memories there.
Houston and I started our lives together in Atlanta in a 750 square foot apartment, where we lived as newlyweds. Several years and four children later we bought our first house - half an hour north of the city. Located in a neighborhood with kids the same ages as our own meant there was always someone for them to play with. Even when we moved five minutes away some years later, it was to a home where our older sons and their teenage friends could hang out playing pool and watching concerts and movies in our home theater. Houston and I hosted a weekly small group bible study for our church.
When the children started leaving for college and I was diagnosed with chronic migraine syndrome, we knew it was time to downsize. A townhome in what was called a “live, work, play” community was home until we moved to Dallas in 2012.
Our years in downtown Dallas, living in high rise apartments and lofts, was so much fun. We loved hosting parties, and even Basden and his wife Molly’s wedding reception. I walked our Boxers a few miles almost every day. I look back on that time with such fondness.
After buying our property just outside of Corsicana in 2017, we began making plans to one day move to the area. It finally happened two years later. Our loft on historic Beaton Street held us during the pandemic, providing a haven from the uncertainty we all faced during that time.
Then almost a year ago we moved to our farm. Houston and I are living in a fifth wheel RV while we’re making plans for a permanent home. Even though our physical dwelling is smaller, the property’s acreage has allowed us the opportunity to host guests, friends and family. We’ve built such happy memories here already. And you can’t beat the neighbors. Each morning I look out my windows to see the donkeys grazing and all of the fowl pecking for their breakfast. I hear the rooster crowing and realize there’s no way of mistaking where I am. I am on the farm. I am home.
This piece first appeared in Sherry’s column, Finding Myself in a Small Town, in the June 3, 2023 edition of the Corsicana Daily Sun.