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This will be our first Thanksgiving at home since 2009 – we’ve been in hotels the past couple of years since we were fortunate enough to attend the Macy’s Parade two years in a row (and watched the band march it!). It was an amazing experience, both years. 

We love to travel, that’s for sure, but the older I get, the more I just want to be HOME. Especially over the holidays. Especially Thanksgiving.

I have a different perspective on being home during this holiday, and I was reminded of it again the other day.

Almost 20 years (I’d love to lie right there and say 15 years) ago I was in my freshman year of college and Thanksgiving break was coming up. Everyone was ready to get the heck home. You remember that feeling? At first you’re so sad to be away from home, then you realize that newfound independence and love it, and then the holidays hit and you realize you just want some real food, your own bed and your Mom?

Well, we were all feeling it. But I for me it was mixed with dread. I actually called the housing offices to see if I could stay in the dorm over that break. My heart broke when they told me I had to leave. They probably wondered who was this crazy girl who wants to stay alone in the dorms over a holiday? But I had nowhere to go. Due to years and years of unfortunate stuff, we were homeless.

That Thanksgiving I sat in a rundown motel in a nearby town with my mother. We were lucky to even have the money to get that room. My friends would have taken me in of course, but it’s such an awkward thing on a holiday. (I did end up living with my best friend and her family that next summer – God bless them!!) My Dad and I weren’t talking much at the time, and I didn’t want my mother to be alone on Thanksgiving.

So we stayed in that motel room. We found a buffet-type place that was open and ate dinner there.

I always think about that motel, especially this time of year. I don’t remember much about that day, but I do remember the room with great detail.

Fast forward 17 years or so, and I started visiting the True Value in that town because of my partnership with them. I would always look for that motel…I thought I knew where the location was. I never saw it though and figured it had been torn down.

And then last year I took a different route to the store. And there it was.

I knew it as soon as I saw it.

I drive by it about once a month now. Sometimes I see it and can go by without thinking too much about it. Sometimes, like last week -- something clicks, my heart starts hurting, and the tears flow. :)

It was a sad, sad time in my life. I can say with certainty that not having a home is one of the worst feelings ever. I wouldn’t wish that on a soul.

We all know childhood experiences help to create the person we are today. And for that reason, I wouldn’t want one minute of mine to be any different. That Thanksgiving changed my perspective on home.

Yes, I was with my mother, and that was what was most important. But I wanted to be with her in our home. Any home.

So there’s a clue into why I’m so in love with our home, the idea of home, what drives me to make it a space just right for us. It’s what’s behind my desire to help you make yours (no matter what kind of home it is) a place that feels cozy and warm and a place you want to be.

I don’t tell you this for sympathy – I’m just working up the courage to hit publish. ;) I’ve just realized over the past couple of years that that day changed something in me, and I think that Thanksgiving may be why I’m even here today writing to you on TDC. :)

I hope you and yours have a lovely holiday, eat tons of food and are happy. I’m taking a few days off to focus on the family – Happy Thanksgiving!!

 

P.S. I hit publish. :)

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