It’s a question that came to me not long ago – at McDonald’s, in fact. Just before we sold our first home in May, I was overcome with a longing for my parents and their house in the mountains of Virginia.
So I did what any Millennial parent would do: I tried to recreate a scene from my own childhood.
We took our children to eat beneath the golden arches for the very first time. As you may have guessed, our sandwiches were edible cardboard and the kids ate very little without the aid of excessive ketchup.
Really, the moment stung. “Old McDonald’s”, as my son lovingly refers to it, only heightened feelings of isolation within me.
Could I ever experience home again?
This week I am visiting Virginia with my kids. Motherhood, of course, changes the experience, but I am looking to reconnect with the small town that released me into the world.
Appalachia is a tough place to call home. Once you leave, it is close to impossible to return.
But on the second day of our visit, I faced a more immediate challenge: no reliable Wi-Fi. Truly, there are few things more frustrating for a blogger.
So I debated the miles I was willing to drive and set forth during my children’s nap time. And where did I retreat?
The local library – the same shelter that allowed me to weather the storms of misunderstanding, gossip, and small town culture when I was a youth.
As it turns out, the distance to home is never as far as we imagine.
And 17 years later, the librarian still remembers my name.