Dateline: My house, Redford, Michigan, 10:30 p.m.

Pewter gray skies, piles of soot blackened snow, icy drizzle…home.

In spite of the weather, I’m content to be here. My old house welcomed me with open arms, no catastrophe’s (like leaky roofs or basements) had occurred, and everything was just as I left it. Loyal and true, just as it has been for the past 31 years.

I enjoyed my time in the sunny south, but more and more I’ve come to realize the rareified atmosphere of Naples is not the kind of place one can really live. Oh, lots (and lots!) of people do live there, but I can’t seem to fit myself into any of the demographics. I’m not old enough to be retired, I’m not rich enough to be not retired, I’m not young and beautiful, I’m not a golfer or a tennis player – what do I do? More often than not, I stay inside the walls of my gated community, avoiding the snarling traffic and road construction, just reading, walking, sitting out on the hill and listening to the fountains.

Don’t misunderstand – it’s a gorgeous place to rest and retreat, and I still love my home there. But I still love my home here, too, probably even more. I love my friends, and my musical groups, and yes, even my work. It’s real life, the one I’ve carved out in 51 years of living.

Even at my age, I continue to discover things about myself, and about life in general. I thought I was ready for the nouveau riche lifestyle that a second home in Naples seemed to represent. I thought I would get a head start on my golden years by building my retirement home in this southern paradise. But the fact that so many other people seemed to feel the same way has sort of spoiled it for me. It’s too crowded now, too trendy, too busy, too overbuilt…too much.

I consider myself extremely lucky to have our home in Naples as a place to visit, a place to retreat from the harsh winter weather, and, of course, a place where we can visit our son and daughter in law. But as far as a place to live – I belong here, (or a place like here) where people work for a living, hang their clothes outside to dry, and can feel comfortable going just about anywhere wearing jeans and a sweater.

It’s home.


4 thoughts on “Home

  1. Glad you’re home safe and sound. I know what you mean about south Florida. Naples used to be a sleepy Florida town that we’d go across the glades to for respite from the east coast. Now, the west coast is more congested than here I think…well, perhaps because the roads there didn’t keep up with growth. Anyway, now Naples is just as you described it…real but sort of not. Over here in Lauderdale, I’m sort of in the same boat, but it’s a lot more diverse in terms of economics and such.

  2. Isn’t it a funny old life? We go away to come back to “home” and knowing what home means to us. I think it’s idyllic to have a retreat…we all need a place to rest and replenish. You’ve discovered the journey of coming home to yourself.

  3. I love your connection with “home”. You do have the best of both worlds having a retreat also. Glad everything was intact when you arrived home.

  4. Welcome Home, Becca! Isn’t it amazing how things change in our lives?? Things we always thought we wanted become unimportant as we grow and age. I love home too. There is no place like it! But being away even in old crowded Florida brings us the perspective we need to stay on our journey through the years!! Seeing how others live, in this country or another, rich or poor, always leaves me greatfull and appreciative of what I have.

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