I Believe That Nothing Can Replace the Feeling of “Home”

Amber - Cowpens, South Carolina
Entered on September 26, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, place
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I strongly believe that nothing makes me feel at home like the everyday things that people take for granted and lack appreciation for. Things such as rolling out of bed early in the morning to create time to make the bed and sitting down on the floor folding the warm fresh clothes that you just pulled out of the dryer. My house has a daily routine, and each part is something I have seen done multiple times by either my mother or grandmother. Knowing that I am walking in their foot steps, doing what they do, is comforting to me. People are afraid of the unknown. They like having a routine in which they can start up, be comfortable and seek peace from. For example, nothing makes me feel more at home than doing the dishes right before I go to bed.

Every night, after dinner, as a family, we pile up the dishes by the sink. I go on about my night, but I always end up doing the dishes later. It’s comforting to me because I can put my mind into autopilot and start shutting down my mind for sleep. I stop thinking about anything that may be bothering me or stressing me out, and I start focusing on my surroundings. I stop thinking about my homework and I start to think about how silky the water feels, how it’s hot to the touch, and how my hands seem weightless underwater. I slowly push out the outfit I should wear tomorrow out of my mind and pull in the delicate smell of the soapy steam that is rising off the water.

I force my mind to block out my thoughts on how stressful college has been and open my ears to the sound of the water splashing. The splash of the dishes slowly turns into the sound of the ocean waves crashing so strong and boldly against the sand like a repetition of thunder echoing the world’s atmosphere. The sound of the sponge scrapping against the plate slowly fades to the sound of my feet running, sinking into the wet sand, each step I take. I’m running freely against the wind, my hair flowing like silk. I can taste the salty air; or perhaps it’s the lingering taste of my mother’s chicken and dumpling that I just ate for dinner. I don’t question it. I open my eyes again to seek reality and see that all of the dishes are clean and stacked. I know there is only one place I could feel like this. That place isn’t walking on the beach; the only place I could feel like this is at home washing the dishes by hand.

Washing dishes has been a chore that has been passed down from one generation down to the next. As soon as I was big enough to pull a chair up to the sink I was getting my hands wet washing the dishes. To most people they dread washing the gross dishes. They are disgusted by having to scrub old food that has settled firmly on the dishes. Sights, smells, and sounds may be small and insignificant. They possibly even may go unnoticed by some people, but they are the sights, smells, and sounds that I know and love. That’s why these sights, smells, and sounds make me feel at home.

After washing the dishes I dry my hands off with the towel that hangs on the handle of the stove. I go through the house turning lights off one by one, making my way toward my bedroom. While I lay in my bed I pull my covers up over my body, they seem weightless. I sink my head deep into the pillow as I shut my eyes. I fill the quiet empty air with whispers of prayer. I remind myself of how grateful I am and how thankful I am and should be. I know that I am blessed with so much: a loving family, education, friends, and a car. I believe that happiness doesn’t come from materialistic things, but it comes from your everyday routines. I believe nothing compares to the feeling of “home.” Rather its actually being at home physically or being with your friends, home is home, nothing could replace a feeling of such.