I have this theory that home is where your magnets line up. The brain is an electrochemical organ. The earth has a strong magnetic field. You get used to being in a certain place and your brain tells you it's home. It doesn't have to be where you were born, or even where you grew up. Just where home is.
Home for me is a stretch of land that runs roughly from Bryn Mawr, in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, through the rest of Lower Merion, where I actually spent most of my childhood, to Penn's Landing on the Delaware River coast of Philadelphia. That's where my magnets line up.
For Kim, it's northern Wisconsin, specifically up near the western parts of Hwy 8. The angle of the light, the shades of the grass, the types of the trees and the magnets all line up there.
Or, rather, here.
We're "up nort' " as they say. Tonight we stay with our friends Fuzzy and Rachel et al. We drove up this afternoon, and spent a very pleasant evening just hanging out. That's what vacations are for.
They live rather out in the country, which is fine by Kim but is just a bit unnerving to this city boy. The first time Kim brought me here they left me at home while everyone else went out to do their thing. I spent the morning on the porch, reading and not seeing another house no matter which direction I looked. I was completely surrounded by Nature. Kim called around lunchtime. "Why don't you go for a walk?" she asked me. "Where would I go?" I replied.
She married me anyway.
Tomorrow we head up to Bayfield, where Tabitha will get to check off another of her Life List items - to see Lake Superior. We'll spend a couple of days there doing whatever it is one does in a Natural Paradise - mostly relax after a far too busy summer.
And when we get back to Our Little Town, with any luck Kim's magnets will hold on to their happy alignment for a while. Sometimes home is a surprisingly portable concept, even so.