Home is seriously underrated.
Last Saturday, although we had tickets, we did not go to the Michigan-Purdue game. I know, I know. We broke the 11th commandment of Michigan season-ticket-holders: Thou Shalt Not Miss A Big Ten Game. Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It has been blhaabluwwhs yhllwwallts since my last confession.
But hey, we planned to go. I even got up, showered and thought we were going to go. But I really wanted to just stay home. I wanted to stay home so badly I cried in the shower. Luckily Rick was silently listening in and insisted that we did not have to go and could just go back to bed.
Last week was just really long and exhausting and neither one of us got a single good night’s sleep. I wasn’t feeling a hundred percent, or even 85%. I was kinda crabby, a little sniffly, a lot tired, and not at all in the mood to sit in gameday traffic or elbow 101,014 Wolverines & Boilermakers inside the stadium to get to my cramped bleacher seat. I also did not feel like getting rained on during a relatively boring game and knew it was just one of those days. Not quite Northwestern 2008 which was so bad it earned me my Michigan Football Fan Merit Badge, but probably damp and slow.
So instead I watched the game in comfy clothes on the couch with the dogs, flipping back & forth between Michigan v. Purdue & State v. Nebraska. Then I baked a pretty apple bundt cake for the church harvest bazaar.
(The recipe is not my favorite, though, so I won’t be talking much about that cake.)
It was SO nice to just stay home. I wish we had more Saturdays like that. Lazy, quiet, warm, cozy… Aren’t I a boring old lady?!?!
Yes, I am a self-proclaimed home body.
I’ll never forget one of the nights I was drawn to that quiet, warm, cozy image of Home in college.
Fall semester Junior year, I had a final project due at 8:00 pm on a Friday night in my Construction Drawing class (I was an architecture major in undergrad). It sounds kind of strange now, looking back, but after I turned in my drawing I had a little bit of a meltdown. I was just SO. TIRED. I think I went three or four days in a row on about 2-3 hours of sleep. All-nighters were no joke in architecture school. In some ways they were absolutely the most thrilling experience of my life. Social, inspiring, challenging, creative. Lonely, exhausting, difficult. My memories of those dark late nights in studio are all very fond, though.
That one night after turning in my drawing, I left the building and sat in my car for about two minutes before bursting into tears. I didn’t even stop at my apartment to get clothes or tell my roommates where I was going (they wouldn’t have noticed my absence anyway, since I’d just spent every waking minute – and most of their sleeping minutes – in studio). I just drove home, to my parents’ house, almost two hours away. I needed to sleep in my own cozy little twin bed. For about thirty-nine hours straight. And when I woke up I wanted someone to make me bacon & eggs for breakfast. I wanted to watch the NASCAR race on tv with my dad. I just wanted to be Home.
When I got there I felt kind of strange driving in the driveway, almost like I was intruding. I hadn’t even called (this was before I had a cell phone) so my parents didn’t know I was coming. I should’ve been at school – two hours away. They were going to freak. I immediately regretted the snap decision, feeling terribly guilty, afraid they were going to worry. Nothing was wrong with me, I was just tired! I took my time parking in the driveway and dragged my feet up the front porch steps. And I knocked on the door. To my own parents’ house. I was SO. Tired.
That sounds so sad! But my mom answered the door with the kindest, most concerned, warm, loving look on her face. I meekly asked if I could come home, and then I promptly fell fast asleep. At least I think that’s what happened because I don’t remember the rest of the weekend.
My parents knew how hard I worked in school and so I don’t really think they were that surprised to see me. I don’t think I ever felt as much at home in Ann Arbor as some of my roommates or other classmates did. I didn’t go out much (no time or money) and I didn’t invest any energy into forging lifelong relationships there. My heart stayed firmly put in Bay City the whole 4 years I was gone.
Oh I was a big talker in high school, though. I thought I’d leave & never come back. I had lofty goals of big cities, romantic faraway places, skyscraper office buildings and loft apartments.
Then Dale Earnhardt was killed in the Daytona 500 when I was a Senior in college. My brother and my dad, Earnhardt’s biggest fans, were at that race. I found myself mourning his death like he was a family member, and I was all alone in Ann Arbor. No one there seemed to pay attention to NASCAR. Back home, everyone did. Everyone should’ve known why I penned a black #3 on my left hand in Sharpie, but no one even noticed. All of a sudden I felt really out of place in Ann Arbor. I loved my car, a Pontiac Grand Am, and no one in Ann Arbor drove domestics, let alone gave two thoughts about what kind of wheels got them from Point A to Point B.
I’ve always had a thing for cars.
There was a guy in our sailing fleet who I thought was insanely gorgeous, but he drove a white Pontiac Sunfire. I would not be caught DEAD dating a guy who drove a Sunfire! When he sold it & got a hot Jeep Wrangler things changed significantly 😉 I kind of have a thing about cars, and it runs in my family. My mom drove a Mustang when I was little. My brother’s first car was an ’82-1/2 Camaro that I was secretly in love with (yes, Chevy changed the body style mid-year in 1982 – I would know, my brother is a Camaro expert). My own first car was the sweetest ride in my high school parking lot. I suffered a horrible complex when it went into the shop for 8 weeks after I hit a deer (8-point buck) and I was forced to drive one of my parents’ extra Buicks.
About a month ago on my way into work, I passed by my dad driving the other way in his big old blue Chevy. I waved. Then I smiled for a good long time – Dad in his Chevy boat: A legend. A couple weeks after that on the way to the office I passed my mom in her new black Malibu. While that car is gorgeous, I HATE it because it makes my mom totally incognito, blending in with 28 other identical cars in town. Ggrrr! I rubberneck every time one of them passes me. Anyway, that day mom & I stopped in the middle of the intersection to say hi & good morning. I savored those warm fuzzies for at least the next three or four miles. I often see my uncle Ted driving around downtown in his old GMC work truck. Once in a while on my way home from work I’ll pass by my brother-in-law swinging a golf club at the driving range. I love to honk my horn & wave mid-swing in the hope he messes up 😉 He’s wound a little tight & needs a check every now & then.
Those moments mean a lot to me.
I love being Home. Where I know what kind of car everybody drives and never have to knock on my parents’ door, even when they’re not expecting me.