"You can't go home again." I can't ever go back to the house where I grew up. Someone else is living there now. It doesn't look the same now. This is the house that my father built. This is the house that was my parents' home for forty years. I can't go home again, but I can come home. 

I have a new home. My husband and I moved full-time to Anacortes a few months ago, and we have been working on making the new house a home. We have filled it with the furniture from my house on Mercer Island and his weekend house in Anacortes. (No, it doesn't all fit.) We have put our books on the bookshelves and our pictures on the walls. There have been some tense moments. "I don't want to live in a museum", he said about all my nineteenth century paintings and drawings. "I don't want to live in a theme park", I said about his collection of lighthouse pictures. Part of making a house a home is accepting that rooms won't look like they will ever grace the pages of House Beautiful, but will look like real people live in them. 

I can come home to a new house, and you can come home to Plymouth Church. Yesterday was Homecoming Sunday. It is exciting to start the new program year. In the next month, you will hear more about the Coming Home theme and the changes that are taking place at Plymouth. The library is waking up after its summer siesta, too. On Thursday, I welcomed a new group of 3 to 5 year olds from Seattle Infant Development Center (the pre-school that rents space at Plymouth) for their monthly storytime. I'm getting new books in - look for them on the New Book bookcart in the library or at the library table during Fellowship time. With Fellowship moving to 10-11am, we will be in the lounge from 10-10:30 twice a month. We invite you to visit the library from 9am to 12:30pm. The library will be staffed from 10-11am.

No article on coming home should ignore the fact that there are people who have no home to which they can return. I wrote about homelessness in the article "Homeless" on February 27, 2017. It is easy to find in the list of past articles on the left-hand side of this page. 

In November of 2015, I wrote about the difficult re-entry "home" after the Japanese incarceration, civilian internment in the Philippines, and for Holocaust survivors. If you go back and read about my grandfather's experiences (November 9, 2015), I have one update. I have donated a copy of Rescue at Los Baños : the most daring prison camp raid of World War II by Bruce Henderson (940.53 HEN) to the library. Some other books on the challenges of coming home are:

Coming home crazy : an alphabet of China essays /Holm, Bill,  915.104 HOL

Coming home from camp and other poems/Kaneko, Lonny  811.54 KAN  

The long way home/Harris, Mark Jonathan   940.53 HAR

Books that explore the concept of home for children:


Make way for ducklings,McCloskey, Robert,  E MCC

Bad bye, good bye /Underwood, Deborah.   E UND

Owl at home /Lobel, Arnold.  E LOB

Road to Tater Hill /Hemingway, Edith Morris,  J F HEM

So far from home : the diary of Mary Driscoll, an Irish mill girl /Denenberg, Barry.  J F DEN

Where the streets had a name /Abdel-Fattah, Randa.  J F ABD

And for adults (home is not always a dwelling):

Home/Robinson, Marilynne  F ROB

Leaving home /Keillor, Garrison.  F KEI

Stepping westward : the long search for home in the Pacific Northwest /Tisdale, Sallie.  979.9504 TIS

Survival of the spirit : my detour through a retirement home /Gray, Ruth Howard,  362.1 GRA

When the time comes: families with aging parents share their struggles and solutions /Span, Paula.   362.61 SPA

This place on earth : home and the practice of permanence /Durning, Alan Thein.  306 DUR

Ways to make your house a home:

Simpler living : a back to basics guide to cleaning, furnishing, storing, decluttering, streamlining, organizing, and more /Davidson, Jeffrey P.  640 DAV

Vastu : transcendental home design in harmony with nature /Silverman, Sherri.  747 SIL

At home with God:

Between the dreaming and the coming true : the road home to God /Benson, R.   248.86 BEN

God is our home/Wehrheim, Carol   J 223.2052034RR WEH