You can go home again, maybe

Published 9:50 pm Friday, May 8, 2009

Going home is an odd feeling as you get older. It is one thing to pay a quick visit to family and friends and subsequently leave town at day’s end. It is another entirely to spend any substantial duration with your loved ones.

In my case, my parents’ residence serves as my lodging during the many trips I make to Montgomery to cover games and playoffs and tournaments.

It is a nice arrangement. They live only 30 minutes from the capital city, and I don’t have pay hotel fees or make a drive back to Demopolis in the middle of the night.

The catch is that I have to stay in my old room, which is in a lot of ways nothing like my old room.

There’s still that same random portrait of a cocker spaniel puppy hanging on my wall. It has been there for as long as I can remember, and I really have no idea where it came from. There are still those two shelves with the model aircraft and the Bigfoot monster truck I’ve had since I was little. And there’s still those couple dozen bottles of cologne and aftershave I would always get as gifts and never use. So there is familiarity in those things.

But the room is smaller now, despite having a twin-size bed instead of the full that used to inhabit it. Side note: I do not know if you’ve seen me lately or not, but I’m not twin-size. I haven’t been twin-size in quite some time. In fact, I am probably closer to combined size of a pair of twins than I am to twin-size. It makes sleeping a little bit difficult. But nonetheless, it is a bed for which I have to spend no money.

In my absence, the room was used for storage of random things. So it now contains a mixture of childhood memorabilia, things I bring with me from Demopolis and useless stuff nobody needs. Periodically, it also contains me. I suppose that could best be filed under the “useless stuff nobody needs” category.

Even with all the differences, I enjoy going home. The old cliché informs us that we can never truly go home again. And, I suppose that is true in some regard, as things will never again be exactly as they once were.

But differences don’t mean that the place where I grew up – the place where my family still lives – is anything less than home. And even though I am as different as the room in which I grew up, there is still no feeling like walking through the door and knowing that – at least for a few hours – nothing can disrupt the comfort and familiarity of home.