Always at home

Home has always been important to me. When I was growing up fourth in a vibrant family of five children in a small Virginia town, home was a white house with green shutters, a drainage ditch where stray kittens frequently played, and pink dogwood trees. Later, when I was one of only two teenagers left in the house, home was a quiet place in an Arizona desert oasis.

It wasn't until I was first on my own that home became an arena for self-expression and for the opportunity to extend hospitality. After we married, my husband and I called several places home. Each was centered on nurturing our daughter and an extended stepfamily—and each had trees that bloomed pink in the spring.

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