Somewhere, over the rainbow, we’re way up high: where’s your Home?

12 Aug

Rainy mountain morning. So our long walk was instead a shorter walk in the cove, on our road – (and someone asked about a photo in the album above – the trail or road? If you are talking the blacktopped one that has autumn leaves scattered on it -that is our road; if you mean the leaf- and pine-coated dirt trail, that is a trail at Lake Junaluska – or was there another?)

While walking, we saw a HUUUGGE pile of scat on the road above- something HUUGGE made that pile….bear? Big Cat? I saw bear tracks in the snow a few winter’s ago. I’ve seen the bobcat, but bobcats are too small for that scat leaving. Once thought I saw a panther, and once our neighbor saw a large mountain cat. A few weeks back, a neighbor drove up and a bear was sleeping on the road – right in the road. Critters are looking for Place, too. This is my Home. This mountain cove at Killian Knob in Haywood County: Maggie Valley, North Carolina.

This morning I take Maggie Lou to the vet – yes, I have decided I like the spelling “Maggie” because it comes more naturally to my fingers as I type it. Right now, she is curled up at my feet – she is settling in so very well! What a sweetie she is. Nannette made the point she may not have been abused, just skittish – and I agree. We do not think she was abused (one never knows, but still), but, instead, not feeling safe, and no telling what she went through as a stray. Maybe people ran her off, or something happened to her that made her frightened. Or, maybe, she just needs to have a place called home. She’s funny about things, like going out of the front door. She’ll stand there, afraid to come out, and I coax and coax until she’ll tentatively come on out. Other times, she comes on out, yippy kai yi yay! There’s no way to know what goes on in her mind. Last night she played some with Jake and me, and this morning she let out a few barks and jumps at the “boomers” (little red squirrels). She is finding Home is here.

So, thinking about Place and Home – themes in Tender Graces: Virginia Kate wants to belong so bad, she wants Place, Home, Belonging. I am curious — do you feel as if you have always had a home, a place, that you Belong? Is it where you are now, or is it where you were born? Is your parents home your sanctuary? Where is your Sanctuary?

Or! I wonder: where would you go if this was your last day on earth?

18 Responses to “Somewhere, over the rainbow, we’re way up high: where’s your Home?”

  1. Brian August 12, 2009 at 8:38 am #

    Hello Kathryn – I have been to many places on this earth and have fond memories from each. As a child we (my family) would vacation every summer at our family cottage on the Outer Banks of NC. That is a place with memories and an instant relaxing atmosphere. The second place is the mountains. We would vacation there in the fall of the year to see the leaves changing, get some apples and just cruise the Blue Ridge Parkway. As much as I love the ocean I now call the mountains of West Virginia my home. There is a sense of connection with the mountains, nature, and tranquility here. As a side note, I believe your post is the first I have read that talked about scat and made it interesting.

  2. Carol @ TheWritersPorch August 12, 2009 at 9:11 am #

    Kat talking Scat…Love it!Watch out for the Bears! Can't wait till November, I'm having mountain withdrawl already! * muwah *

  3. Sandra Leigh August 12, 2009 at 10:05 am #

    I'm glad you settled on Maggie. Maggy looks to me like an adjective, and I don't know what it means. Maggie seems more natural and fitting.My retreat has always been in a book. I don't know that I've ever had a home, except by the sea. If it were my last day, and I couldn't get to my children, I would go to the sea (and probably take a book!)

  4. Lazy Writer August 12, 2009 at 11:43 am #

    I love my home. I love being home. I am a home-body. I always have been. I guess my point is this: no matter where I've lived, I liked being there. Vacations are always nice, too, but coming home is even better!

  5. Missy August 12, 2009 at 11:55 am #

    I was born and raised in NY, but visited West Virginia 2 times a year to visit relatives. I still think of it as "home"…I miss it very much. NC is my home now, and I feel like I belong here. I had wanted to move to NC since 1989, but had my sights set on Charlotte. I'm glad I ended up in Raleigh where I met my hubby. I want to go back to WV and visit soon…it is only a 5 hour drive. "Mountaineers Are Always Free".

  6. Analisa August 12, 2009 at 12:25 pm #

    For a long time the home for me was Washington DC. Most people don't see DC as a hometown, but it is. More that than monuments and government. We lived a few blocks from Rock Creek Park and before the lure of technology we would pack a lunch w/friends and go down to the creek or the stables. Or just hike the trails. It was a very homey neighborhood. When I grew older my family moved. It shook me to the core. I was just starting high school and knew no one in Maryland and was very unhappy. In my twenties I moved back 1 block from where I grew up. Almost five years ago I moved to Gaithersburg, MD. We love it here. It is a beautiful suburban spot. I know now that it is not the place that brings peace, but it helps to have a place that is peaceful. Oh by the way I finished Tender Graces. Loved it. Read my review on

  7. Travis Erwin August 12, 2009 at 12:33 pm #

    I would take my boys fishing to a nice gentle stream.

  8. JOY August 12, 2009 at 2:21 pm #

    Ah, I'm so happy for Maggie and YOU! She's a doll, reminds me of my rescued Penny who I miss.My favorite home so far was on Paradise Acre, my last home on School Rd. I loved it there, felt the most ME there. Will I ever get back to that? I hope so.If it was my last day, I'd want to be high up in the mountains with a creek bubbling nearby, taking it all in, watching the sunset for the last time.

  9. Debbie August 12, 2009 at 5:08 pm #

    Near the mountains is my home! I just don't feel home away from them.

  10. Rick August 12, 2009 at 6:09 pm #

    Where would I want to go on my last day on earth? That's an easy one!The bookstore.

  11. Strange Fiction August 12, 2009 at 7:58 pm #

    I was born on the prairies in Canada but I’m a back woods mountain girl at heart—I love the breathtaking landscapes of the west—raw, isolated, & real. I’ve lived and worked in larger centers but I thrive where the telephone lines don’t go. As a writer and a family orientated person, I love my satellite Internet—have dish will travel. I guess I like having the best of both worlds and thanks to modern technology—I can have it.

  12. Angie Ledbetter August 12, 2009 at 11:10 pm #

    So glad Maggie Lou girl is settling in her new home!Sanctuary? You know the spot at the lake not too far from home, and also wherever a good friend is. :)

  13. NCmountainwoman August 13, 2009 at 9:10 am #

    Wouldn't go far for my last day. Right here on my porch. With my family around me, the dogs at my feet and a glass of good wine in my hand.

  14. Sharla August 13, 2009 at 10:41 am #

    I moved back to my hometown in Texas where I grew up, 9 years ago, after being gone 12. It's no haven, but it's home. My parents house was always my safest place when they were alive, and now I live across the street from it and watch new people there and it's so weird.I lived in Colorado for 4 years, and it was the most peaceful place on earth. If I could have brought it to Texas with me, I would have! I guess my favorite place now is when we go fishing early in the morning and it's still dusky dark and the water is like glass. Love that. At home, it's my bedroom.If I had one day left, I'd spend it with my family all curled up in our bed watching movies and eating popcorn and being silly.

  15. smiles4u August 13, 2009 at 2:36 pm #

    I never thought I had a home until now. I never felt like I belonged growing up…as far as the home I grew up in…it most definetly was not a safe place. I never realized it but I spent much of my adult years searching for that "home"…that place to belong. I kept trying to create it for my children and to some extent I did but I never thought about myself and keeping myself safe. It wasn't until I made peace with myself and all those things of the past that I truely found "home" where I was at…which opened the doors to finding the love of my life, which led me to finding a "home" that feels like I have always belonged to. Now this place we have made together is my sanctuary…for the first time in my life I feel safe. If it was my last day on earth I would want to be anywhere that my husband and children are!

  16. Marcy August 14, 2009 at 12:45 am #

    I'd go to my land in upstate NY. Completely wooded with a little stream running through it.

  17. Pat in east TN August 14, 2009 at 5:53 am #

    The mountains of western NC, and now east TN, are my comfort zone. Not until we found these jewels over 30 years ago did I feel I was home and now it's hard to get me to travel away from them. My Wally (found in the Wal-mart parking lot by a rescue group) has been with us 18 months now and has settled in nicely. The beginning was a little awkward, but slowly and surely he's come around.

  18. Deb Shucka August 14, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    Home has become where I currently live, mostly because it's where I've found myself and peace. I don't think I really felt at home anywhere until I wrote my memoir – the process completed a circle of healing that made safety possible.

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