Home is Wherever I’m With You.

I’m in this strange space. This strange place.

It’s a bonus space and place, because in two ways, I almost didn’t think I’d live to this day. No, I was never dying. No, I didn’t logically think I wouldn’t live to see this day, but when two things happened at once – the completion of my biggest life travel dream of all time – coinciding with living longer than my father ever lived? Well, it’s weird! No, I didn’t really think I’d die of a heart attack two weeks after my 36th birthday, but since the only life I’ve really known is one in which that happens, I felt somewhat marked. I felt like I couldn’t conceive of it not happening, because isn’t that just the way things go? Turns out? No.

This is my one wild and precious life. This is my bonus life. This is my space and my place and this is my next act. The ending was just the beginning. Also, I didn’t really think I’d die after going to Alaska, or that I wouldn’t make it to Alaska until my 99th birthday (living to 100, of course, like my grandparents) but don’t you ever have something you can’t see beyond?

I have the perfect example! Senior prom. And one day, I promise with ice cream on top to tell you the story of my prom date. It might make you believe in magic, or at least in some sort of higher calling involving the right song at the right time on the right road, and what it feels like to fight your worst phobia and see your whole future spread out in front of you on a dark beach. Yes. Intriguing, right? It’s sort of as ridiculous and amazing as not thinking about life beyond a trip to Alaska, nor living two weeks past your 36th birthday. So my senior prom was a BIG DEAL. So big that I couldn’t see past it, even though life would certainly be past it – and maybe even really starting past it? You know, like graduation and college and.. and.. so much:

I couldn’t see past the dress and the charming(ish) date, though. I couldn’t see that I had a major Physics project due the Monday after my prom and it was worth a huge percent of my grade. So I did what any idiot does. Nothing. And my sister’s boyfriend made my project for me in 15 minutes – we had to make some sort of car that “drove” without batteries. We had to “drive” them down the hallway and there was an “F” zone, a “D” zone, a “C” zone, a “B” zone, and of course – an “A” zone. My homemade car petered out to the C/D zone, while other students’ flashy cars drove to the A/B zones. My teacher thought my car was special, though. Handmade and homemade. He said if I let him keep it, he’d give me an “A.” Of course I agreed and since it was a good percentage of my grade, I didn’t have to do the final. I got to sit in the hallways and have people look curiously at me. They were probably wondering why someone who seemingly slept through class was exempt from the final?

I think that story is about an inability to look past something.

Since then, I have learned how to look past things and plan things. I have to – as a mother and with my career. Maybe I look past things too much – into the big picture – and it scares me. Maybe I plan so much that I don’t even really know how to take a break sometimes – so consumed I am with looking too far ahead. I couldn’t really see past my trip to Alaska and my 36th birthday, and yet, I could see enough to plan blog posts and photo shoots ahead – and slam my head on a table in McDonald’s in Anchorage because the WiFi was so bad, and I was looking too far past it all. I was caught between not being able to see beyond, and seeing it too clearly. Too harshly. Too little. Too much. Not just right. Sometimes I’m just too caught. Up. In.

Caught up. Caught in. Caught out?

Sometimes it’s so hard to sit here and write, with my brain pushing against me saying, “No, no, no” and the heart saying, “Yes, yes, yes.” Sometimes I’m seeing too far ahead and too far behind, but don’t you know, that everything that’s going to come out, is going to find its way out. Up and out. Out and up. Up. In. Out. Reverse it. Out. In. Up. Reverse again.

And then there’s home. It needs its own font. Coming out of my mouth, aloud, there’s a hushed whisper. There’s a softness around its edges and an edge around its softness. It’s where you go, to lay your head at night, after Alaska, after two weeks beyond turning 36. It’s home. It’s what you could spend your whole life searching for – and you can find it more than once. Home, is what I once told my friend, Matt, is like splitting your soul into different horcruxes, because sometimes you walk away with bicoastal disorder – even with the best intentions. Home is a feeling and a place, and a feeling in a place.

Even in space.

When I think of home, it’s the place to come back from the craziness – whatever it may be – and the plaguing. Past, current, future. Anniversaries and deathiversaries and life dreams and what it feels like on the other side. Home is the place where you can think beyond. Beyond the beyond. Without coming up short. Home is where you see past whatever is blocking your brain, your heart, your logic, your plan. Home is unblocked. Home is looking not too far past and not too far before.

Home is where you’re looking at things just right.

Not too far ahead. Not too far behind.

Not too far behind. Not too far ahead.

Just right.


In typical Tamara fashion, I was going to name this post after a Counting Crows song – “A Murder of One” – with the lyrics, “When I think of heaven, deliver me in a black-winged bird.” Appropriate! And yet, I already have named a blog post by that name, according to WordPress. And so, I wrote this post to Pandora and this came on. I’m not a Coldplay fan, much, but some of the songs hit right home. Do you believe in the right song at the right time? The right place. The right space. I do.

In my place.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “When I Think of Home..” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on any of the matters: HERE.

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  1. Oh I have been there with you. I used to think that I wouldn’t make it past 35 but I’m now 40 and I’m grateful and here’s hoping I can make it to at least 40 more. I’m sure you can make it to be 100 like your grandparents. You’re just filled with light and goodness and I can see you living that long, I have absolute faith in you. BTW I’m loving these photos. Where is that bridge? I would LOVE to walk across that.

    1. You sure did make it past 35! Funny how we both didn’t think we would, but we did!
      I really hope I live to be 100 like my grandparents. My mom’s side of the family is amazing – no cancer, no heart disease, no strokes, no diabetes, etc. My father’s side? Not bad but not as good.
      That bridge connects my city to the next one over! It’s part of our rail trail. It goes parallel to a car bridge. I have taken sunset pictures of this bridge on my phone that you may have seen last summer!

  2. Beautifully said. I’ve long liked Billy Joel’s You’re My Home. There are songs that I happened to hear at special moments and now, those songs and moments are forever entwined.

    1. Ooh, I’ll have to listen to that one. I saw Billy Joel live several years ago and it was quite the experience. I tell ya – he came up on his piano through a hole in the floor!! Magic.

  3. I can totally relate to this, especially when you are talking about your career. Sometimes I get too caught up with wanting to take on new projects with my business, but there really isn’t enough hours in the day for it. I need to take a deep breath, slow down and focus on what is here and now and my kids, and home. Beautiful post as usual Tamara. Sorry it has been a while since I stopped by.

    Have a fantastic weekend!

    1. I love that you can relate. Sometimes I sorry I’m talking nonsense.
      I’m also really happy that you DID stop by! I know life gets busy! I get terrible at it in the summer myself.

  4. I definitely believe in the right song at the right place! Home should have it’s own font. Like a special one for each and every one of us!

  5. I love your story about the Physics project. What a great teacher to give you an A. Those were different times for sure. True that there is nothing like home although I have to admit I am ready for a change. I find myself longing to be near the water now that my nest is empty.

    1. I think I will miss those times even more when my kids are in high school and I’ll see how different it is! We used to feel so.. safe. I think that’s how to say it. The world was different.
      Are you near the water at all? Not near enough? I’d love a beach house or a cabin RIGHT on an island on a moose-filled lake. Yup.

  6. “Maybe I plan so much that I don’t even really know how to take a break sometimes – so consumed I am with looking too far ahead.” That’s me in a nutshell! I’m so into planning and looking forward to things and into the future that I forget to enjoy the moment I’m in right now.
    And about your physics projects — who assigns a major project for the Monday after senior prom? Not cool, physics teacher! (And I’m glad your sister’s boyfriend saved you!)

  7. I kinda like In My Place and a few of Coldplay songs. Sometimes I’m very consumed too. I have lots of things on my calendar but really, there are nights when I just want to feel at “home” and that includes staying in bed for the entire day and binge-watching movies and shows.

  8. Love those pictures on that bridge! I feel similar. Life is so crazy busy right now that, mostly, all I can do is take it day by day. But, in order to do that, it requires a fair amount of planning ahead and strategizing.

  9. I used to worry about my mom getting past my grandmother’s age. Now that she’s long passed it and I’d forgotten about it… I had my annual mammogram over the summer and answered the question about when my grandmother was first diagnosed with breast cancer. “Forty-six” I said. And then my brain said to me, “The same age you are now.” So of course I didn’t breathe until my “See you next year” card came in the mail.

    Love that bridge. I wouldn’t necessarily be a fan of walking across it but it’s beautiful. Looks like a movie bridge.

    1. Man, I didn’t breathe until the end of this comment! Whew. I get it. Too well.
      Walking across the bridge is gorgeous! Do you think it looks too long or too scary? Scarlet rode Des’ tricycle up and down the whole thing! If it helps, this bridge connects my town to the one that has the magical cookie store I talk about all the time.

      1. Magical cookies might get me a cross. I’m not a fan of bridges. Even driving across them. I’ve gotten better about that because there’s really nothing you can do when it’s happening. Thanks for letting me know my comment went to spam. The other FTSF I commented on Friday didn’t show up either.

    1. Don’t worry! It did! Askimet had an overzealous update and I’ve been getting spammed on other people’s blogs so I have been remembering to check my own spam filter. I’m still partly the Comment Queen, after all.

  10. Reading your posts is always an ENTIRE experience. YOUR words intertwined with the images always ignites an emotional response of reflection for me… Taking in your story, your thoughts, your heart always pulls me in. Always.

    And I have to say, I cracked up at your luck with that car project. NO WAY! An !? No Final? Sweeeeeeeeet.


    1. I so will!! I only wish I had photos. I can’t believe I haven’t written about it. It’s long overdue. I have decided that the next FTSF topic that fits it? Even loosely? I’ll go for it.

  11. Life is funny like that, I totally identify with what you are saying, especially when you mention Senior Prom! The pictures you included in this post went along with it perfectly, I love seeing the kids on the bridge with there bikes, it makes me want to freeze time and just enjoy the moment.

    1. I totally didn’t plan the photos and the story but I’m so glad they matched up like this!!
      I want to freeze time too. Especially with these fall weekends. They’re precious.

  12. That’s a long wooden bridge. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a wooden bridge that’s that long.
    Seeing the prompt “When I think of home” makes me think of the song “Home” and Glenda the Good Witch from The Wiz.

    1. It’s part of our local rail trail. If you ever visit, I’ll take you on it! Scarlet did the whole thing there and back fairly easily but I agree that it’s long! We were slow.
      Also, The Wiz was my favorite childhood movie.
      Ease on down the road!

  13. I’m reading this in the sauna at my gym and dying to here the song, but forgot my headphones. Love the pictures and so happy you got your dream trip. I understand the anxiety about your dad, I have it about my mom – and she was 51, I can’t even imagine 36. And please write about the prom…I want to know. Or did you already?

    1. Aw, I hope you got to go listen to it!! I love Coldplay’s older stuff.
      I haven’t written about the prom yet but I totally will too! It’s just sad that I don’t really have any accompanying photos. Perhaps they’re at my parent’s house and I’m heading there this weekend. I will find a way! My date was a hot mess, but also a hottie.

  14. It’s so good to be in a new place, a new space, a different time in one’s life. It’s so so good. And so so scary. And so so joyful. And I can only imagine that’s where you are. And to have a place (or 2 or 3 or more) to really call home, to really feel relaxed and free and fully joyful and fully present is something so special that is just has to be cherished. 🙂

  15. its really crazy because sometimes the future can seem like such an abstract concept and then BOOM the future is the present and it’s a lot to handle!

  16. I somehow ended up with a different date then when I started at one of my proms. And another I ended up soaking wet in the harbour. All good times. Home.. what comes to mind when I think of home? Music for sure. Kitchen parties and bagpipes and fiddles and wood smoke. Apple pie cooling on the window sill. Old wooden plank floors perfect for step dancing. Home is alive with so much. Yet the quiet when your soul needs it. And sometimes both is just what you need. But anyway, there’s always pie.

    1. Bagpipes and fiddles, eh? My mom loves bagpipes – the sound pierces through her bones. In a good way, if that makes sense. They played them at our friend Jim’s funeral and it still gets me.
      I want your version of home so much. I guess Canada and New England are kindred spirits. I came here for the pie cooling on the window sills, and the smell of wood smoke.
      Although when I was pregnant with Scarlet, I hated that smell. I got it back like 99%. Not 100% but goshdarnit, the things we give up for our kids. Like that 1% of love!

  17. I totally believe in the power of music. Music has saved me, I think I’ve said that here before. It saved from a L7 SQUARE JERK FACE…. So, yes, right song, right time- totally get it!!
    I so want to here about senior prom!! Turns out the L7 jerk face loser pants was my senior date. WOMP WOMP!

    1. Oooh.. there’s a story there!! I have one too!! And I will be sharing SOON! Either this week or next! Although I may need to get photos from my mom.

  18. Beautiful beautiful post! I know exactly what you mean about not being able to see past a certain point in your life. The amazing thing to me, at this point anyway, is that I can look back on several of those now and think “wow, there’s been so much since then that I never imagined.” I think that’s the magic.

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