Katherine Garbera
Katherine Garbera


Jaunty Post

images-3I know someone famous said you can’t go home, but I’m guessing they didn’t have a family like mine.  Not only can I go home as often as I like, each time I do I feel more love and attachment for it.

I grew up in the middle of Florida.  Not the touristy Central Florida that usually comes to mind but a quieter Florida where there were still cattle ranches and citrus groves until the late 1990s.  A place where rural takes on a new meaning and quiet is punctuated with the sound of cicadas and breezes over the swamp.

As a child I loved my home and playing outdoors until the mosquitos came out and chased us inside.  Back them my mother who rarely allowed us to watch TV would turn on the big ceiling fan in the living room and my sisters and I would lie on the floor underneath it and make up stories to tell each other.  In the seeds of this upbringing are why I am a writer today.

As a teenager I hated our house with no A/C because my hair was always frizzy and when I stepped outside the heels of my sexy new shoes would get dirty from the unpaved driveway.  But I did enjoy baking under the Florida sun wearing sunglasses and not having a single person around to disturb me.

But now as an adult I love going back.  All the things about my small town and that rural house my dad built that used to bother me now charm me.  I love the fact that there are no neighbors and that my parents have their chickens and their garden.  I love the fact that my kids have grown up playing on the same land I did and that they feel as passionately as I do that we should always have that land and always return there.

9780373732623What about you?  Can you go home?  What’s the best part of visiting for you?  I have advanced copy of His Instant Heir to give away today.  

35 thoughts on “Going Home

  1. Amy Keating Casey says:

    Sounds like a wonderful place to grow up. I always loved going to my grandparents, they had this big old house, my great-grandfather built it, the basement was so cool in the summer. We would play in the apple orchard, climb trees, roll down the hills, then come in the basement for drinks and lunch. My great-aunt and uncle lived beside them, we would always have picnics with all the cousins in between the two houses, it was a very large yard but I just remember everyone laughing and having a great time!! The new books sounds wonderful, can’t wait to read it! 🙂

    1. Amy–your grandparents home sounds a lot like my family home. We always have a full house and spend all night talking and laughing. 🙂

  2. Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe says:

    I envy you for having a home town. I moved a lot as a child, attending 3 different grade schools, 2 high schools. Then once I married, my DH and I have lived in 9 different states. The only real home I have is where he is. Which isn’t too bad, come to think of it.

    1. Mia–when I was growing up I sort of longed to travel but I’m so glad now that I didn’t get my wish. I also wished I was an only child (I’m a bit of a diva and wanted more attention) but am also glad I have two sisters now. 🙂

  3. Florida has never sounded more beautiful! I live in my hometown, and moving back…it was kind of strange, actually! But that’s another story. Loved hearing about your childhood, Kathy!

    1. Kristan–I love Florida. There is so much more to it than theme parks and beaches!. 🙂 You are so lucky to still live in your hometown. I’m intrigued about what was strange about moving back…

  4. Shana Shana says:

    My parents don’t live in the house where I grew up or even in the same city, so in that way I can’t go home. I can go home in the sense that I can feel the security of being surrounded by my family, who love and accept me no matter what.

    1. Shane– the one thing I really love about coming back home is that I can totally be myself and know that I’m always going to be accepted.

  5. CrystalGB says:

    Your home sounds wonderful. I love the quiet and peacefulness that I get to experience at my parents’ home.

    1. Crystal GB–there is a lot to be said for peace and quiet and sometimes I get that late at night when everyone is asleep. 🙂

  6. Kathleen Kathleen says:

    Kathy, is that picture of your childhood home? How absolutely gorgeous! As a native Floridian, I could relate to everything you (so beautifully) said. My old home was torn down a few years ago, and my childhood best friend, who still lives in that town, emailed me to let me know. She said that, even for her, it was a physical pain to see the empty lot. 🙁 But that’s the good thing about memories, right? I go back there in my mind all the time, and climb around in the seagrape tree, waiting for the vegetable man to drive down the alley and sell me a candy bar. 😎

    1. Kathleen–That isn’t my childhood home. 🙂 I just love Florida. I can’t imagine coming home and seeing my parents home torn down. I would be devastated. But it is true that visiting places in my mind can be just a rich. Whenever I’m feeling a little exasperated with Winter in the UK I travel back to Florida and my parents home in my mind!

  7. Kathleen OD says:

    What a great place to go home to.. For me now there is no home to go home to.. My parents have both passed away, but I do go to my Aunt’s house, which was always a second home for me. A place where I know there is always hugs and kisses when I arrive and when I leave. But she is getting on in years and who know when that second home will not longer be there for me..

    1. Kathleen OD– It so great that you have your Aunt’s house to go to. It gets harder when our relatives get older and we start to see the end in sight. That happened with my Great-Aunt’s house in Point Pleasant, NJ where we used to each summer. When she passed the house became a burden and was sold and we all miss hanging out there in the summer.

  8. You actually make it appear so easy along with your presentation but I to
    find this matter to be actually something
    which I feel I’d never understand. It kind of feels too complicated and extremely vast for me. I’m looking forward in your subsequent publish, I’ll attempt to get the hold of it!

    1. It is hard to think of going home and I do believe it means something different to each of us.

  9. eap says:

    holiday dinners are the best part

    1. eap–food is so much a part of my family that I totally get that. 🙂

  10. Melody May says:

    I love going home, because I grew up on the central coast of California. The weather tends to be just right. Plus, I have the beach, which I didn’t know I would miss until I left the coast to more inland areas. They’re hardly any bugs, after living in the south I have learn they have bugs. There is no snow,which I’m not a fan of the stuff. It nice to read in a book, but not to live in. Home is just beautiful. Plus, it’s nice to see family. I have to say it makes you appreciate your family when you’re not around them so often.

    1. Melody May– I agree with missing the beach. We lived in Chicago for a while and the Lake was nice but I missed the beach. I also think that you do appreciate your family more when you have some distance.

  11. Connie Fischer says:

    I live in southwest Florida and love it. I know what you mean about the wonderfully quiet and laid back ways of Central Florida. That is a perfect place for children to be able to get outside and play without worries that are what one often finds in a bigger city.

    I was born and raised in the Tidewater area of Virginia. My husband and I moved to Florida when we retired and have never regretted it. Virginia is OK but, unfortunately, it has winter. 🙂 I couldn’t be more delighted with Florida and feel more at home here than I ever did in Virginia. Three cheers for Florida!

    1. Connie–huzzah Florida! I agree with you about Florida being totally awesome. I get what you mean about winter but I still sort of like it. 🙂

  12. Katherine, I grew up in a beautiful little Colonial town in South Jersey – like something out of a book. There were many things I disliked about it as a child, but I always loved the beauty of the town, the magnificent trees,and the old buildings that harkened back to eras past. It was and still is a place where kids can safely ride bikes and people stroll down to the library on Saturday to spend the afternoon. I love visiting there, even though it’s not very often.

    1. Vanessa– I love your hometown. It sounds so great. 🙂

  13. catslady says:

    Oh, that sounds lovely. As far as the area, I live probably a half hour away or less but my parents moved shortly after I left home but we are still only that far away from each other. So there is no family house but I am lucky to still live close by to my mom and my sister and her family too. So far my two grown children are also close by although my oldest may be moving soon but hopefully not too far away.

    1. catslady–I think the people can make a place feel like home too. My mom hates that I live so far from her. I hope your oldest doesn’t move too far away!!!

  14. bn100 says:

    yes, the food

    1. bn100–I love the food. My mom is making fried chicken tomorrow night and I can’t wait!!!

  15. I love your family, Kathy! I still live in my hometown. But even when we go away on vacation, I’m so glad to come home.

    1. Nancy–thanks! It is nice to come back home. There is nothing like being back in your own place. 🙂

    2. CateS–I’m jealous you have a drive-in still. We used to have two but they both have been closed for a while. 🙂

  16. CateS says:

    We still have family in our hometown. So we still get back, usually in the summer when our favorite drive-in is open!

  17. Quilt Lady says:

    Yes I can go home and planning on doing it on Thursday! My sister lives in my mom’s house and I do enjoy going and visiting with my sister. We still have some family left in the area also.

  18. Shana Shana says:

    This is from Betty. She posted it on Goodreads because the blog blocked her for some reason. If she wins, I can contact her via Goodreads.

    I love your story!! Thank you for sharing. I have lived the last 50 years in South Florida and I love it. But “home” is the suburbs of Philly. I grew up in an old Victorian, 6 bedroom, 3 story house, with 6 siblings. For many years after moving to Florida, I did not return “home” preferring the memories. Several of my sisters and brothers visited our old home, but I had no desire to interfere with my fond memories. However, my son’s desire to see where his parents had grown up helped me to decide that perhaps it would be OK to visit y old home town. The people that now live in my childhood home were so friendly and nice and nothing would do but that I ‘come on in and visit’. They were as curious about me and my family (as previous owners) as I was to see what had become of my childhood home. It was so much smaller than I remembered! Gone were the steam radiators. In their place were air conditioning vents! The hardwood floor was covered with wall to wall carpet and the glorious paneling that my father and brother pains takingly put up in the dining room was all painted over! It was nice t visit…. but I still prefer my childhood memories. I think maybe the difference is that your family still own and live in the house. Again, thank you for sharing!

  19. Laurie G says:

    I revisit my hometown once or twice a year in July and October. My hometown is in Wisconsin right on the shore of Lake Michigan. It has a gorgeous beach that runs for about 7 miles. There is a biking/hiking trail that follows the lake between two cities and through a state forest where there is camping. My mom still lives in the house we moved into when I was in kindergarten. Several of my HS classmates still live in the area. It is a beautiful place to live. The atmosphere is relaxed, laid back. The homes are kept up and the people are friendly. Friday night fish frys are a must! Yummy lake perch!!

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