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Home wasn't a zip code, a particular house, or the number of years in a place for me. Those changed and there were many.
Rural American bullfrogs bellowed from the cowponds, and I climbed high into a green apple tree. Corn fields rippled for miles, tall honey-colored grasses swayed, and lawn mowers droned sleepy in the distance.
In another setting, mango trees swayed high above our cement block house, while tropical rains hammered and crashed on our metal zinc roofs in a way that still leaves me nostalgic. Rice bubbled over coal pot fires, and neighbors chopped sugar cane stalks, throwing a chunk to the monkey pet nearby.
You know it too. That smell, sight, or sound that reminds you of home. Because no matter what state or country we were in, my mom and dad made it home with a few simple touches. Scrounging up batteries or electricity, they slipped in some family-favorite musicians and suddenly music slid through the house. Familiar refrains from Bruce Cockburn, Kansas, Pink Floyd, Phil Keaggy, and Michael Card peeked around corners, explored new houses, and traipsed over our luggage to each of our family of five. Instantly, our shoulders relaxed and we stretched out our legs.
Mom popped popcorn, shaking kernels at the bottom of any large pot she found, fiercely holding down the lid, as corn rattled in the oil and exploded. She shook her hips and torso in an attempt to give every kernel a chance at the heat and oil; we watched my dad watch her and smile or steal up for a kiss.
And suddenly, we were home.
My blogging friend, Emily T. Wierenga, award-winning journalist and author of 4 books,
has released her first memoir, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last
Place I Thought to Look. I was honored to read a sneak preview of the first two chapters before it was released, and now I am scarfing down my newly-arrived full-length copy of the book, and enjoying it. You
can grab a copy here. All proceeds go to Lulu Tree in Africa. #Atlasgirl