It was around midnight Sunday in our seedy little motel; as the water began to drip from the ceiling. I called the front desk, (twice) to inform them of this new development. The second time I called, the night manager answered and was very polite. He quickly moved us to another room. Also in his defense, the fact that 30MPH winds were blowing outside and the rain was coming down sideways, may have contributed to the leak.
But, as I settled back down in my new bed, in my new dry room, I laid awake and pondered over the weekend’s events.
I already knew that Hurricane Dennis had just grazed Mobile, AL; and that minimal damage was done. I had little doubt that my home was safe and waiting for me.
No; what had captured my thoughts were not my home in Alabama, but this “old hometown” of Columbus, MS.
You see; I had spent most of Sunday afternoon, driving around Columbus and seeing how, or if, I noticed any changes around town. I also stopped at a few friends’ houses to say, “hello” and made a short drive to Caledonia to visit my parents’ graves.
For almost 40 years, I had grown up in and around Columbus. I called it, “Home”.
I remember as a kid, packing up for a weekend to visit my grandmother in Charleston, MS. My mother had always used the phrase, “we are going back “home” to see Momma”. It baffled me then, because my Mom had not lived in Charleston in 30 years, and yet she still called it “home.”
And so I drove around my old hometown, and tried to see if I had that feeling of being “back home”
I thought about that drive Sunday night and asked myself the question, “Well Dave, were you “back home’?
Columbus was “someplace that I used to live.”
“I was originally from Mississippi”.
“I grew up in Caledonia.”
All those phrases sounded correct, but Columbus was not “home”. Nor was I, “back home”.
I was merely an ex-resident. There were fond memories, but that was all.
But, my “home” was in Mobile.
I was destined to be there. I was happy there. I couldn’t wait to return.
Hurricanes will be a minor inconvenience.
It’s Tuesday, and I’m “BACK HOME”