You CAN go home again

In Spanish, the word casa means house; as far as I can tell, there’s no word that means home. In English, we differentiate between house and home, but often use the two words interchangeably. Lately, I’ve been wondering: How can I go home if I’m already home?

Before my recent trip home, I worried that I’d find Philly and environs foreign. I ached for home, but Thomas Wolfe’s admonition bounced around my brain. What if he’s right? What if I get home and find I pine for that which exists only in my memory? Suppose my friends can’t make time for me? These and other darker, more difficult to define notions swam just at the edge of conscious thought, muddying my anticipation.

Justin and Donna at South Street Souvlaki

My definition of home: where the bed and pillows are firm and familiar; the kitchen is equipped with all I need to create nutritious and delicious eats; the cats laze in out-of-the-way nooks and crannies; and Buddha follows my every move. Home is where I live now: Puriscal, Costa Rica

Our home in Puriscal

Home is also the place of origin; but more importantly, it’s where my family and long-time friends live. In this respect, home is Philly. My two brothers, some cousins and aunts still live there. Friends from college, work, and the neighborhood where I lived for twenty-five years before retiring are there.The various houses I’ve lived in are there, albeit with new owners. I still like to roam the streets I walked as a child, and my heart sings when I see the spires of Saint John’s Church, in Manayunk, though I haven’t practiced Catholicism for over forty years.

Toni cuts her cake

Philly hasn’t stood still since I’ve become a resident of Costa Rica, but the changes don’t make me sad. It’s still home, and Costa Rica is home too.

David, Me, George, Garland and Jake

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About Myra

I'm retired in Costa Rica, having lived in Philly, State College, Salem Mass, and Kawagoe Japan. You might call me a career gypsy, but my last and best job was teaching English to some of the best and brightest kids in Philly. I'm new to blogging and websites, and will probably make all the mistakes there are, but now I'm sharing my writing. I moved to Costa Rica in June of 2009 with my husband Jack, my dog Buddha, and Jack's two cats, Hobbes and Noir.
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8 Responses to You CAN go home again

  1. Paula says:

    Just saw your blog on “She Writes” (am new to the group myself!) and wanted to say I’m enjoying your blog and that I completely understand what you’re saying about living in two equally wonderful but very different worlds. I bop between Grand Bahama Island and the U.S., enjoying the best of both worlds since it’s only a 30 minute flight from Florida! I have always wondered about life in Costa Rica and will look forward to peeks through your cyberwindow—many thanks for sharing your stories!

    writing smiles,
    Paula

  2. Irmani says:

    Home in Spanish to me is hogar – the cosy place where the duvet is! Lovely piece 🙂

    We’re a bit up in the air at the moment as we have to move house before Christmas but will be in touch soon about making plans for Spring. Looks like you guys had a wonderful trip back to Philly!

    M
    xxx

  3. Bonnie Kay says:

    Hey Mom- what a great piece! My favourite is this sentence- “These and other darker, more difficult to define notions swam just at the edge of conscious thought, muddying my anticipation.” I love the swimming notions, and especially the muddy anticipation- we all know what that feels like. I’m so glad it was a positive experience for you.

    • Myra says:

      Bonnie, I’m surprised that you liked this little piece. Though it took a long time to write it,
      when I was finished, I wondered if I said anything. And the bit you liked- I was afraid it sounded
      pretentious. I’m really happy you liked it.

  4. Helen Dempsey says:

    So next time you come to Philly, take a detour and head out to State College. Enjoying your blog.

    • Myra says:

      Actually, I thought about State College. I imagined the foliage to be spectacular. I thought about the days when Penn State had a great football team, but I didn’t care. Life can be so irony-filled.

      I’d love to get acquainted with you. So don’t wait for me to visit. Come here. This time, I know who you are. 8)

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