Grab Your Things, I've Come to Take You Home

I've mused before that these days it's hard to know how to characterize "home." In rummaging thru my glove compartment tonight I realized there are envelopes labeled "Philadelphia Directions," "Ohio Directions" and now I should start one for Chicago. (Driven by the rare combination psychological disorder: Type A personality combined with pack-rat, I save directions to most places I have to go. Never know when you might visit again...and it's embarrassing to ask your cousin every year what exit she is on the Jersey turnpike.) The crinkled maps also shoved in the glove box reflect where I've lived, as well as where I've ventured to see others: New York, Westchester County, Connecticut, Rhode Island.
Most of the people I work with assume that home is Columbus, since that is where I moved to Chicago from. (And I delivered a sufficient amount of jibes to the many Michigan grads I work with prior to the big game. I'm still looking for one co-worker who took the week of Thanksgiving off so that I may now gloat. He seems to be in hiding.)
But there is "home-home", which is where I head this week. As most trips back to PHL go, there is a busy schedule: Dinner here, an Uncle Paul lunch there, and then the casual night where I hope to do nothing much more than hang out with Juliet and Hugh. (Mark your calendars for Friday night please, guys.) Along the way, I'll be trying to make sure to spend time absorbing the things I sometimes miss from home, like the lights on Rittenhouse Square at the holidays, a sandwich from Le Bus, a real soft pretzel, a ride down Kelly Drive.
And the seasonal day trip to NYC to see Gram. Aww, Gram. Gram whose home has been the same little apartment in New York City for the past 50-plus years. Barely traveling out of a 100 mile radius during this time; 105 miles to Juliet's wedding last year, complete with an overnight stay away from home no less. She has no car, much less labeled envelopes stuffed with directions from Google maps. She doesn't even have the Google. She only needed one map: here is Czechoslovakia, there is New York, I'm done.



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