"There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again."
~Margaret Elizabeth Sangster
It never mattered where I lived. I always knew we were getting close to our house by seeing some type of landmark.
My earliest memories are from when I was 5 years old. The airplanes circling in the sky and a park you could see off the highway gave me a sign we were close.
When we lived in California, I remember seeing the mountains far off through the front window, then the check in station at the Air Force Base where my parents had to show their military I.D. to enter, then the long row of palm trees that lined the entrance down to our neighborhood. We were almost there.
Back in Ohio, we stayed at my great-grandmother's cottage on a lake when we first moved back. There was a pizza place about 5 minutes away that had a white sign out front with a black top hat on it. My brothers and I would race to see it first and we'd say, "I see the top hat!"
When we moved to another house, I remember a Burger King a ways down the road that sat on an intersection. When I saw that place, I knew it was only a matter of time.
Another house, there was a pond that we passed and we were close. There was a high school that sat right off the highway at another house that was a clue. There was a movie theatre near an exit ramp at another house. A college close to another...
You get the point. I could go on and on, considering that I moved more than anyone I knew growing up. The city was always changing, the weather was different, the bedrooms were always arranged just a bit different, my age was different, the neighbors were new, the schools changed, and the friends were different.
It's been almost 11 years since we moved into our current home. This is the home that my husband and I bought together after we were married. The home that our children are being raised in. The home that we can't wait to get back to after being away from. And now, that blue water tower standing high above our town serves as a symbol to our family that we are not far. We are home.