Feels A Lot Like Home


My two sisters greeted my brother and me on the front sidewalk of the house. Then they opened the door. Wow! A garden right in the middle of the living area. Live plants and trees. Plus a small pond with a fountain. I had never stepped into a nicer home in my life.

That was my first impression of my aunt’s beach house.

More recently, my father, brothers, sisters, and I gathered at the beach house for a big birthday bash—three of us had birthdays that weekend. After everyone else left, I remained an additional two nights.

The extra nights offered me time to reconnect with my old stomping grounds near Corpus Christi. I spent a morning walking the beach at Mustang Island. I took an afternoon to sip a latte at the C. C. Barnes & Noble and write. I lounged on the beach house balcony and inhaled the gulf-side breeze. Fresh cup of coffee in hand, I said, “I’m home.”

What made the beach house—a place where I’m at best only a temporary visitor—feel like home?

1)      Familiarity: Although my visits are short, I return each time to the familiar. In the pleasure-retaining recesses of my mind are memories of my childhood along the gulf coast. Even in Wisconsin, a wind out of the south recalls a gulf-side breeze. My aunt’s beach house doesn’t simulate those breezes. It’s surrounded by them.

2)      Delight: Each room at the beach house holds a treasure trove of good experiences from the past—a family issue resolved, a joyous night of fun and games, the spooky late-night movement of fish, a wonderful steak dinner prepared by many hands, laughter, tears, and prayers. All this and more has happened there and each has brought a sense of delight.

3)      Comfort: I’ve asked several times to stay at the beach house. My aunt has always said yes to my requests. Her gracious response kindles a strong sense of welcome in my heart. I feel comfortable there whether I’m working, celebrating, or relaxing.

I think my temporary enjoyment of the beach house touches on some characteristics of our forever HOME.

Although HOME remains veiled in mystery, it somehow seems familiar. I believe it’s different, surpassing anything we can think or imagine, but it’s not all together different. Better, certainly. Strange, perhaps. But somehow also familiar.

I think awe-inspiring surprise, unimaginable delight, and unceasing joy will fill every nook and cranny of HOME. You and I will walk through HOME’s hallways, peek into its kitchen, survey the exquisite gardens out back, and be drop-jawed amazed at what we find.

Put on your oldest pair of jeans, your can’t-toss-it sweatshirt, or your best broken-in sneakers and you’ll get an idea of what I mean when I use the word comfort to describe HOME. The level of comfort, both internal and external, will exceed anything we’ve experienced in this present world.

Questions: So what do you think? Do you agree with my thoughts about HOME? What would you change or add?

About tnealtarver

I've traveled and spoken around the world but always love to come home. There I eat exceptional meals, drink coffee to my heart's content, and get loved like nowhere else on earth. I believe a community centered in Christ should be all that and so much more.
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2 Responses to Feels A Lot Like Home

  1. MARY Jeffries says:

    I can only imagine! ya, I kow that is stealing the words from a song I did not write, but it is so true. And yet yes, there are places in this world where we can feel a little “taste of home”, again I know i am borrowing from a magazine. Home is where the heart is, right? So my heart belongs to “Abba”, Daddy, The ONE. so of course Home is where he is. Now I will be real enough to say, boy I wish I had an aunt with a beach home that welcomed me like yours………it sounds SO inviting…..but it would not be the same for me there, I have to find my own comfort place….and be content at home here until I can be HOME there. MJ

  2. tnealtarver says:

    I love the song you borrowed from. It captures the essence of what we long for and wonder about.

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