Homecoming

Some people never leave home but those who do always seem to find their way back, especially during the holidays.

In earlier times when many of us lived in the country and had limited modes of transportation, we tended not to veer far from home. As our social customs and patterns of living changed, as businesses required their workers to relocate, as automobiles became affordable, and airplane travel became possible and convenient, family members scattered all over the world.

Wars have displaced family members for short times. My father served in the Army during World War II and was overseas for two years. I can remember his homecoming. What a wonderful occasion! When he first came back to the States he was not allowed to come straight home. He called from his assigned camp in Florida to tell us he was back in the States. My mother (still in her twenties) without hesitation threw some clothes in a bag and we headed to Atlanta to catch a train to see him. During the war, plane travel was almost nonexistent, gasoline was rationed and train travel was about the only way to go any distance. I remember the crowd of people at the boarding gate that night. It’s a wonder we were able to get on the train. Because the train was so full I was separated from Mother and I was seated between two soldiers. We had left home in such a hurry, Mother and I had not eaten supper. Train employees would come through the train cars selling snacks and drinks, but I had no money and Mother was not seated near me. I’m sure the soldiers saw my reaction to seeing the food and they took turns buying me something to eat.

During my college days, I was only about three hours from Fayetteville but had no way to get home. I would see my family only between quarters and at Christmas. How sweet coming home was! Mother and Daddy were always glad to see me and made everything special ...cooking my favorite foods and seeing that I had a good time.

Now, I have two grown sons. The younger one lives only thirty minutes away but the older one has lived all over, even in England at one time. They are to our delight always with us at Christmas time.