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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hotel/Motel (09/12/05)

TITLE: Home, sweet home
By Suzanne R


I'm going home tomorrow!

It isn't that I resent being here. It's fun to spend time 'team building' with colleagues during our retreat. The days have flown by with training, social events and late evenings playing board games. I'm not complaining about there being staff to cook, clean, run errands and be responsible for anything and everything. It's been good.

I make a cup of coffee, using my toothbrush to stir it. With a sigh of pleasure, I stretch out my legs on the standard bed, the generic pillows and bedclothes matching the twin bed two feet away. I put the coffee on the bedside table, which contains knobs for various lights around the room. Only one more sleep and I'll be home! A smile crosses my lips as the thought flits through my mind.

This hotel is really quite lovely. The meeting room is a functional standard room. The bedrooms, while devoid of personality inside, do have lovely green lattice work over the arched windows, matching the green doors. Cobbled paths link the various buildings. Cars are not permitted beyond the carpark, which is hidden from view. Central to the buildings is a string of green ponds, inhabited by large orange goldfish and surrounded by deep green willows. The name, 'Dragon Ponds Mountain Village', is fitting.

If it weren't for the rumble of traffic and the distant view of electricity lines over the high fence, I could almost forget the world out there.

Forgotten or not, the world is there. I'm not a resident of a mountain village, but a guest in a hotel. Thankfully. And tomorrow, I'm going home.

I sip the coffee, wishing I'd rinsed the toothbrush more thoroughly. My thoughts wander.

After tomorrow, there will be no more living out of a bag. No more eating food cooked in an industrial kitchen. No more stirring coffee with a toothbrush. Aaaah - home.

Home is permanent. Home is where everything has its place. Home is full of music, books, photos and special memories. Home is where I belong. Or is it?

I can't see my home from the hotel, of course. I've not seen the news. Is my home still there? Flood ... fire ... earthquake ... hurricanes ... rioters ... who knows what has happened to my home. My heart flips at the thought.

Taking a sip of coffee, with its slight aroma of toothpaste, I pull myself together. Of course my home will still be there. I can't see it, to be sure, but my thoughts keep returning to it. And tomorrow I'll be home again.

The apostle Paul spent most of his time away from home. Did he have the transient lifestyle in mind as he penned these words? "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV)

My real home is permanent. My real home is as yet unseen. My real home is where I belong.

Tomorrow, I'll have a spoon with which to stir my coffee. I'll enjoy the non-toothpaste flavoured coffee with a chocolate chip cookie. I'll put on some of my favourite music and curl up on the couch. I'll enjoy just being home, the whole apartment proudly declaring the personailty of its occupant. Yet even that isn't my ultimate home.

Home is where I belong. I'm enjoying the time in this temporary abode. But I'm looking forward to going HOME one day.

Aaaah ... home!

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 09/21/05
I enjoyed your dual message: longing for home, and longing for Home. Your little touches (the toothpaste-flavored coffee) of humor are charming.
Debra Brand09/22/05
A longing of every Christian's heart. Good work!
Anita Neuman09/22/05
Just this morning I replied to a friend's email about all the tragedies we're facing right now - both in the world and in our circle of friends - and my comment to her was "I just want to go HOME". How profound to read this piece now. Beautiful work!
Karen Ward09/23/05
Good message and humor Suz, and very easy to relate to.
God Bless, enjoy being home! Karen
Shari Armstrong 09/23/05
Very nice -good details. I've never been a fan of coffee-but toothpaste flavored -shudder lol
Phyllis Inniss09/24/05
There's no place like home. Lovely touch of keeping the focus on 'home', but recognizing that your ultimate focus is Home.
Pat Guy 09/24/05
"I sip the coffee, wishing I'd rinsed the toothbrush more thoroughly." Yuk! That's gross Suz! (not really right?) At least we get a real picture of temporary life on the way 'Home.' And a good analogy of this temporary life before we go 'Home.' Good insights - Great job!
Julianne Jones09/25/05
Really well-done and a great reminder that our 'real'home is in heaven. I'm just a little confused: why didn't you just stir your coffee with the handle end of the toothbrush? :)
Crista Darr09/28/05
A lovely, well-written reminder that made my own heart 'flit' in anticipation and hope.
Judy Hollins10/01/05
Wow, this one's really excellent Suzanne, I like it a lot! For me it didn't just have the dual meaning of home (as in not-a-hotel) and your ultimate Home but also the thoughts of Australia, your REAL home 9earthly home anyway)...or is it? Gets a bit confusing doesn't it!? But you wrote it beautifully, I like the eye you have for everyday details.
B Brenton10/04/05
Man, I know how you feel. I'm as eagerly awaiting as all of you to go home. :)