First, just a disclaimer that I am not knocking any other parts of the country. The Midwest is what I have always known as home, and I just really feel comfortable with where I come from. That being said...
I can't believe that the time has come for me to leave Germany. Seven years I have spent my life in this wonderful country. It has been my second home, as I (so far) have only lived in Indiana and here. I have loved my time in Europe. L-O-V-E-D it. All of the traveling, the experiences, the people, and the uniqueness of each and every nook and cranny of Europe. But, it never felt like "home." Sure, I have always had a roof over my head. But, I never felt very comfortable in my own skin here. The blue eyes and blond hair helped me fit in, and learning a bit of German made a world of difference, but there were still things I didn't understand and frustrations with things not coming as easily as they should.
In ways I can't really explain, I am so glad to be moving back to the Midwest. Sure, it isn't Indiana, but when I look at the area of our new home and the surrounding areas, it sure feels...comfortable. The farmers markets on the weekends selling fresh corn on the cob and going apple picking in the fall, Fourth of July fireworks in the park, the local county fair, horse stables, going to the local markets, mom and pop BBQ joints at every corner, and, probably one of the things I missed the most, a cold glass of sweet tea. NOT tea with sugar. It is nearly sacrilegious to call that sweet tea. I am finally getting a front porch again. With a yard. I am going to play catch with my dogs in the back yard and swim in our pool (that's right, our new place has a pool!) on hot summer days, have cook-outs on Sundays while watching football in the afternoons (well, if there's a season) versus the middle of the night. In the winter I will go look at the houses all lit up for Christmas and then go to my local Starbucks and enjoy a Peppermint Latte...the list goes on and on.
I have treasured my time spent overseas. I know I am very fortunate to have had such experiences and to have seen such things. But, for just a little bit, at least, in a matter of weeks I will be "home." You will probably find me on the front porch swing with a glass of sweet iced tea reading a book and listening to the sounds of the neighborhood, smelling the charcoal all around me. Sounds like home to me.