Home, James

What is it about home towns? When a young lass doing year 12, back in the day, I was so sure that I wanted to leave my small, friendly town that I enrolled in an Arts Degree in order that I could give my Mum a plausible explanation for getting out of Dodge. The real reason was that I had zero work experience or skills, so it was that or get some practice queuing for the dole. University it was!

Needless to say, with this barely acceptable “motivation”, I didn’t reach any great heights other than my inspiring work when sent Please Explain letters on two separate occasions by the Exclusions Committee. An Exclusions Committee, you ponder? Think a panel of teachers asking you why the hell they should let you remain part of the University community. But scarier. And in letter form. My written submissions explaining my poor performance was of such high quality that I was allowed to stay each time. Irony at its best.

Having spent the last two nights back in the town of my high school years, I arrived back to my current dwelling feeling quite weary, but a touch blissed out. I had visited my bestie, watching our offspring play/fight/bargain/almost die riding bikes down a paddock full tilt. I had watched her children while she attended a social event (OK, a funeral, but same thing), and afterward, made my way down the road to my Mother’s house. I cooked her dinner. I rearranged her fridge. I looked through her jewellery box and found a couple of groovy broaches. In short, I did the sort of stuff I only ever do at my Mum’s house, in my home town.

Purveying the rolling green fields and warm demeanour of the inhabitants, I began to wonder why I had ever left. Sure, I recalled the gossiping, the strange but very much present cast system and various other things that suck about small town life, but still…pretty hills and stuff.

It struck me as I parked my car in my driveway that I had similar feelings of niceness upon coming home. The place smelt like my husband, who had long since gone to work. It was tidy…well as tidy as our place gets in any case. Don’t judge me. Anywho, as I began to note a swelling in my throat of the pusy tonsil rather than emotional variety, it occurred to me that I am the luckiest of ladies. There is no place like home, and I have two of them.

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