Traveling at night, the headlights were bright
And we’d been up many an hour
And all through my brain
Came the refrain
Of home and its warming fire
And home–from "Home" by Karla Bonoff
Sings me of sweet things
My life there has its own wings
To fly over the mountains
Though I’m standing still.
I grew up in Nebraska and Iowa, but every other year or so (although it seems like every year in my memory), we would drive to northern New Jersey at Christmastime to visit Grandmother Maggie and Grandfather Bud. I’ve written about Christmas at their house before; it was always magical, without fail. My grandmother embodied the Christmas spirit right down to the tips of her toes.
Iowa to New Jersey is about 1,000 miles, almost all of them on Interstate 80. When we (finally) reached the Delaware Water Gap, we would all cheer, knowing we only had about an hour left in the car. Our whole family – Mom, Dad, Charlie, Willa, and me – would pile in our 1988 Dodge Colt station wagon and make the trek, crushed into the backseat with comforters, books, and the way back stacked with presents.
This new card is a drawing of my memory of those drives, coursing along I-80 as we closed in on the end of the rainbow at the end of the drive. We’d pull into the driveway, past the Joy flag on the left, the Minettis’ house on the right, and into the end of my grandparents’ driveway and their waiting open arms.
P.S. If you’d like to listen to a beautiful song, here’s Karla Bonoff singing “Home”