There is a little corner of the world that belongs in my heart.
Actually, it’s not so much a corner as it is a middle. And many would probably consider it the middle of nowhere…
But that’s one of the reasons I like it so much, and I still call the place “home”, even though it has been several years since I moved away to our little white farmhouse in town.
I suppose I call lots of places home, though…
The first one is with my family. I would follow Mr. Gore and my children to a cave in the wilderness and assume that we would do just fine, so long as we were together (and our parents and extended family are most certainly invited).
And then there’s my church family. When I am with them, I feel safe and comfortable, as our hearts and lives are being bound tightly together by the love and grace of Christ…
But then there is the home I am talking about today…an actual place on the map. Not to compete with the house I live in now – because remember? – my family lives there, so it is also my home. But 10 short miles away sits 160 acres of Oklahoma perfection, and on that acreage sits a little country house made of rock and wood…and in that house live my beloved parents.
I was first brought to that house 30 1/2 years ago, I grew up in it, I got married on the backporch, I spent my wedding night in the woods nearby (long story), and I brought my first 2 babies there from the hospital (as we were waiting and then building a home of our own). Thus, somewhere in the wind of that place are thousands of dreams and thoughts that were born as I strolled down those country paths over the course of 3 decades, and deep in the dirt are the prints of 100 different pairs of shoes as I grew and changed and, eventually, sprouted wings and flew away…whether I was fully prepared to do so or not.
When Mr. Gore hauled me off to Kentucky a few months after our wedding, I was heavy-laden with homesickness, and distinctly remember waking up several nights with tears running down my face as my dreams had carried me once more down a familiar gravel road; I would wake up just before making that last turn that led to my parents driveway, and the longing within my heart was so intense I thought I would die.
And so it is no small thing to me that God has brought me back to this place that my heart so deeply loves. I can feel an urge to visit with my Mama over a cup of coffee, and 15 minutes later, there I am, my children playing in the same backyard that so safely harbored me during my sweetest growing-up years, as my Mom and I sip and chat. Gratitude wells up in my soul everytime I consider this blessing.
A couple of weeks ago, Mr. Gore went to the city to run errands, and I loaded the children up to spend the day at our home away from home, eager to drink in the blessing of one of my favorite gifts from God.
We had a lovely day, and well before nightfall, after a supper of taco salad and enchiladas, a suggestion was made that my Dad and I take Gideon and Rebekah on a “mule ride.” Not an actual mule, mind you, but a Kawasaki Mule, with 4 wheels and lots of seat belts. We love to scoot all over the place in this contraption, and it is a perfect way to keep the entire family occupied and entertained.
The weather was surprisingly beautiful, and so I quickly agreed, eager to get some fresh air while revisiting the scenery that is much more like an old friend than a typical landscape; for truly, the record-breaking heat of this Oklahoma summer had kept us hibernating inside of our homes.
But then my Daddy said it.
“Well, I was kinda needin’ to check the corn feeder…”
My heart sank.
He wanted to go to the “Rock Farm”.
The Rock Farm is NOT my home.
(Stay tuned…Part 2, coming up tomorrow!)