There’s no place like home

Mission Santa Barbara, (Don Hodgdon Photo used with permission)

I couldn’t wait to leave my hometown when I was younger. As a teenager, I thought any place would be better than where I grew up.

Know the feeling?

Ha! Can I tell you how wrong I was? I mean, there are many places I’ve travelled to, lived in, longed to live in…but, over the years, there is no place that will ever come close to being “home” as my first one.

Why I say that now, Dear Readers, is that I have been fortunate enough to be able to return home, on a regular enough basis recently, to feel that it still is “home”.

Does that ever really change?

I’m there enough to reconnect with old friends, some who have thrived and some who have not fared as well, and to make new ones.

When I walk into my favorite coffee spot of 35 years, I’m greeted with a nod and an easy smile. My favorite restaurant still serves the best refried beans. The Indian Dam at the Botanic Gardens still runs when the rains bless the land. And, I’ve found some new spots, too.

Growing up there was magical, soft, sweet, perhaps even dreamy. I came of age during the 1960’s, wearing flowing skirts, folk dancing on Sundays at the beach. We were young and beautiful…and didn’t know it. And, that’s probably a good thing!

I will be traveling “home” this Saturday for a week, to begin writing in earnest the book that so many have been asking for. That’s a pretty big thing for me to say because in doing so, I feel that it’s a statement of commitment to a big project and to you.

So, wish me luck and I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, there’s no place like home.

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  1. says

    Santa Barbara is beautiful. Wow, I feel the same way about San Diego. When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to move up north. Like you I’m lucky with the many return visits…

    I’ll check out your SF Bay Area class schedule. Thank you!

  2. omma says

    Home is many places. I don’t think I could point to any one place I’ve lived and say, “this is home”, even places where I grew up – that was long ago and far away and happened to another person altogether in another life. Home is where my heart finds solace, where my dear Joe and critters help to center me, where new friends extend my awareness and old friends re-connect, where I feel creative and useful and loved.

  3. Cathy Towne says

    …. I am completely on the same page. Sounds like our paths in leaving Santa Barbara and wandering — only to want to cycle back — are somewhat similar. I, too, left the place without looking back. Then, this past summer I turned 50, and I visited my ailing mother in SB over Christmas…… Only to discover that something had shifted in regards to the place where I grew up.

    … When I returned for my mother’s memorial last month, I reconnected with an old girlfriend who I hadn’t seen since I was about 12. Wow…! Then, I went by my old house on Anacapa Street and met the people who have lived there for many years….. That weekend, needless to say, I saw many people from my past, from what had been “home” for me — including you, Kate.

    …. All I know is…. If I could afford it, somehow make it work, I would return to the place of my childhood. And I NEVER ever thought I’d want that! Turning 50? Circling back? Mom’s passing? … Not sure of the reason, but feel that pull.

    Lately I’ve been saying to myself: “You can take the girl out of California, but you can’t take California out of the girl”… :-)

    So…. Who knows about my future… Perhaps I will share your good fortune and be able to at least visit the place more…. that would be nice!

  4. says

    Beautiful post and thoughts! I’ve have always believe full in the old sentiment that “Home is where the Heart is” :)

  5. Carol Palecek says

    Those were the days weren’t they… Sounds like you have probably stayed more connected than I have. I kind of feel like a visitor to SB when I go back. So much seems to have changed. Home for me has moved to Northern California. Enjoy your stay down there! Carol

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