A few years ago I knew I wasn’t at home.If asked where I was from, I would be pleased to answer, “I'm a Carolina girl.” Having lived only in various cities and towns of the two Carolinas made me feel content to call the entire big area home. But in my sixties, with my life slowing down and my now middle aged sons and their families not living nearby, I had time to contemplate the concept of home as well as seek where it might be. Lovely Greenville, my most recent and longest stopping place, is a great place to live, but it began to feel less and less like home.
I had read about Southern writers, and that central to all of their good stories is a “sense of place.” Surely there was a message in that for me. I tossed the possible meanings of that little phrase around in my head. What did I have to learn from those three little words? After much soul searching, I realized the answer is Wilmington, my birthplace, the seat of my earliest memories, the backdrop of my family’s funny and loving stories. It is the warm and friendly coastal town I have been tethered to during all my busy years of roaming about the rest of the Carolinas, the place that has always been in the back of my mind as where I should eventually return.One of these days a potential buyer will stop by this house I have lived in for almost sixteen years and find it exactly what their family needs. When that happens, I will go home. I am thankful to “a sense of place” for helping me find my way.