The bonus prompt for Saturday is to talk about a time you left home.
I left home and went home the same day in September 1997.
A few days before I left Birmingham, Ala., a moving company had picked up boxes of possessions, assorted pieces of furniture, and many books. They would arrive about two weeks later in Pacifica, Calif., to a tiny apartment by the ocean.
I was leaving my home of seven years, my husband of 27 years, and many friends to move to California -- by myself -- because it was something I *had* to do. It wasn't that I had ties to my new home, although I have relatives scattered throughout the west. It was me. I had come to a place where I needed some changes, and the life I'd been living was not the life I wanted to live anymore. I knew I did not want to ever look back at my life and wonder "What if..."
That Sunday morning when I left home, I'd kissed my husband's forehead as he headed off to church and his responsibilities there and saw tears in his eyes: we would divorce over the next several months, a mutual and amicable decision. I finished my coffee, put my computer, a little television and a small suitcase in my new Saturn sedan, and turned to look once more at what was no longer my home: the roses and vines I'd planted on the side of the steep driveway, the red front door, the sheer curtains in the windows. I was done here.
And then I headed north and west to Springfield, Missouri -- to my parents' home, the Tudor-styled two-story house that they'd lived in since I was 10. That night, after a warm welcome and good dinner, I went to sleep in my old bedroom; the bed, dressing table, even the lamps of my girlhood still the same, and feeling a bit out of place: for the first time in my life, I had no home of my own, not then. I'd left home and come home -- but I wasn't home.