Pub note Sept

Karl Teel

Crazy title, huh? Let me explain. It was a bittersweet afternoon. I traveled to Annapolis, about an hour’s drive away to attend the funeral of the mother of an old friend and college roommate. I had not seen him face to face in perhaps 15 years. Circumstance has a way of altering one’s path, and time has a way of slipping past at a surprisingly fast rate. But there we were, at home with each other as if we last had seen each other the day before. Sure, we are now a little larger, a little grayer, and a whole lot wiser – but what’s inside hadn’t changed and the core was essentially the same, but now enhanced from a vast amount of life experiences.

During the funeral, the minister thankfully had words that not only were soothing but kept the attention with interesting perspectives. The one that caught me most was that home is what’s inside you. What you are familiar with. The homily’s theme was that she left her temporary home, her body, for her permanent home. What’s inside didn’t disappear, it just changed location.

So what exactly do we carry inside our bodily home, our mind? Well, a lot of memories and experiences for one thing. Some of these memories are survival-oriented (don’t mess with hornets), others work-related (you have to work to survive), but the best and most cherished memories are family, friends and happy experiences. These are the things that expand your life experience. The stuff that make life worthwhile. Best of all, these memories can never be taken away, they are yours. You take them wherever you go, as long as you wish, sometimes even longer!

Life during COVID sure has had many of us living on memories. Facebook flashbacks take us back to revisit happy travels and time with friends and family. We can visit them again and again in our minds because after all, that’s in our brain, which resides in our real home. It never leaves. Most of us are never done with our home, updating and redecorating, changing it as our styles evolve and wants and needs change. It may not be possible to control the family memories, people are born and die independent of your desires, and its also hard to control the sublime circumstances of life that place your path with someone you fall in love with or learn profound things from, yet there are other things you have far more control over. Such as how and where you spend your time.

Yup, I like to travel. I like to see other cultures, landscapes, people, animals, architecture, weather, you name it. I like to taste life and add those experiences to my memory bank. In fact, I take it with me everywhere I go. It’s in my home, even when I’m not home. How are you going to decorate yours in the future? Wisely I hope. And I hope we offer some great ideas on how to do it. As COVID loosens its grip, opportunities open up. Are you ready?

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