There’s no place like home
1/12/2017 by -By Starla Graham-Vernon-
It is my observation that a heart can simultaneously hold conflicting emotions: joy and grief, excitement and dread, love and anger. As I write this, my own heart is home to a couple of contradictory emotions as my parents pack and sell my childhood home in Teague in order to move to Albuquerque, NM, where I live with my husband and little boy.
The joy I feel anticipating their arrival here is indescribable. We will never be apart for the holidays and milestone events, and I will see my family on a regular basis ? something I?ve not had the luxury of doing for some 20 years. The sacrifices they?re making, and the obstacles they?re facing in order to make this move happen are colossal. Uprooting a life after 31 comfortable years is inconceivable to most.
Though my heart is over the moon that they are moving to Albuquerque, I can?t deny the sadness that exists in my heart as well. Teague is, after all, my home. Home is not just my parent?s house, or the familiarity of Main Street; it?s the community, the people who make Teague the place I call home.
Teague is the place where my Uncle Ralph and Aunt Pat gave me my first horse ? a gentle palomino named Buck. It?s commonly said amongst horse owners that you get one great horse in your lifetime, and Buck was my one great horse.
Teague is the place where, in a dusty arena, Judy Bates taught me to really ride a horse.
It is the place where every year on my birthday I could count on a red velvet cake with red rosettes made by Mrs. Allison. I?ve eaten a lot of cake in a lot of different places, but I?ve yet to taste one as good as hers. If anyone ever deserved a spotlight in Southern Living for her baked goods, it was Mrs. Allison.
It is the place where Lola Myers taught me to love literature, and Janet Morris opened my eyes and mind to the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Doris Smith taught me that remaining calm is best as I never once witnessed her lose her temper in an 8th grade English class ? an almost miraculous feat I can assure you. These three ladies were my role models and were integral in my own decision to become a teacher.
The four walls that made the home in which I grew up, and all the familiar sights, scents and sounds like tree-canopied dirt roads, the scent of honeysuckle vine on the damp humid air, or the sound of train whistles deep in the night will forever remind me of home, but it is the people of Teague, Texas, who made, and continue to make it, a place I am proud to call home.