Home isn’t just where you keep your socks.

I’m in Texas again, whiling away the hours until I leave for Scotland on Tuesday and working on minor renovations—and major cleanings—in my family’s new house in Seminole, Texas. It’s an odd house, with an impractical floor plan and an excessive number of doors leading outside, and when I got here the floors were completely covered in dead insects.

Truth: I’m not brave enough to open all the cabinets and find out what’s living inside them in order to clean them. Sorry, Mom, but most of that is going to be on you when y’all move in.

Anyway, I’m currently curled up on one of the new couches in the living room, and Dad’s not home yet so the house is quiet save for the box fan I have going across the room and the rattle of the AC vents. It’s…strangely pleasant. Strange because it’s a pretty big change from the chaos and familiarity of the house in California.

But that house has never truly felt like home. The people living there, they’re home. But the house never has been.

I don’t know how your memory works, but I often have strong audial memories, and they’re unfailingly linked to a specific location, usually just one specific glance of a specific location. So I was remembering listening to an episode of some TV show my siblings were watching—Stuck in the Middle on Disney Channel, maybe?—and I was framing the memory in terms of where I was sitting when I heard a particular bit of dialog, when I realized that I was putting myself in the house we moved out of over four years ago, and I heard the episode this summer. My dreams are like that, too: present day occurrences that take place in my childhood home.

Buckboard Drive just never became home.

And I was sitting here just now, listening to the quiet and contemplating the book I’ve been reading, when it dawned on me: this place feels like home. I have been living here since Monday (four days!) and it already feels like home.

And not just because I have my stuff spread out all over the living room (which is functioning as my bedroom.)

I kinda suspect that’ll change when this place is filled with the noise of my family, but it’s a nice feeling for now.

I think…I think it’s because this summer has been so much chaos that I’m just desperate to find a norm, some constant that I can cling to. I know that’s why I’m looking forward to school starting again, even though I’m totally not looking forward to school.

Seminole’s a quiet little town, seemingly equal parts prosperous and poor, and I’m beginning to get the gist of navigating here. Walmart is tiny, probably the tiniest Walmart I’ve ever been in, meaning that I actually had to go to a grocery store to get a lot of types of food instead of just hitting up a one-stop-shop.

I dunno. Small-town life just feels…right.

That sentiment is doing nothing to quiet that little voice inside that insists that I’ve chosen the wrong career path because theatrical success means moving to a theatre hub which means moving to a city. Is Melissa a city girl? I don’t think so.

So…what? I dunno.

I dunno, I dunno, I dunno.

(Also, Word doesn’t know that dunno is an actual thing. Whatever, Word; not knowing that you’re wrong doesn’t make you any less wrong.)

Dad and I have been talking a lot lately.

Not surprising since it’s just the two of us here right now and we keep driving the three-hour round-trip drive to Lubbock.

But, yeah, we’ve been talking.  About a lot of things, but my 5-year plan has come up more than once. It’s all so confusing. But whatever happens, I think I’ll be in Abilene awhile longer. Which is cool. I’m cool with Abilene.

The sun’s getting nearer to setting and I think Dad’ll be home soon. I never know exactly; his work schedule isn’t consistent and then he’s got to drive a ways to get here.

Today I decided that I wanted to name my future dog Toaster. I can’t remember why. I don’t think I knew why. I also don’t know when I’ll get a dog because HSU is dumb and doesn’t let dogs live in campus houses. Which is dumb.

I guess I’ve rambled my way out of pertinent things to say.

Like I said in the beginning, I’m leaving for Scotland on Tuesday and I’ll be there through the 14th. If you want to follow my adventures, I’ll be (trying) to keep everybody updated via THIS OTHER SCOTLAND-SPECIFIC BLOG. I could’ve used this one, but…for why? Plus, this way everything’ll be better organized when my sentimental self wants to reminisce someday. So follow my Scotland blog and have yourselves a merry little Christmas…er…evening. Have yourselves a nice evening. That’s what I meant.

– Melissa E
Check this out! It’s Irish music, rather than Scottish, but I love it.