Another Day in the Country

The hallmark of home

© Another Day in the Country

It has always been a curiosity to me as to how people claimed their home base, that quintessential bedrock of belonging.

Home was where you were welcomed. Home was a safe place. Home contained your loved ones who were similar to you. Home was that spot where you returned again and again to be refreshed and fed and cared for. Home was where you could let down your guard, relax, and go aaaaaaahhhhhhhh!

Beginning in the late 1800s, the USA, Kansas, Marion County, Ramona area became home for my ancestors. Before that, Europe, with its undulating lines around its German-speaking people, was home.

While I was born in California during my parents’ brief excursion away from Kansas during the Depression, I was branded in my childhood core with Ramona as my home. Even after we left, my grandparents resided in the area.

Ramona became my heart’s home.

Through the years, my own parents’ nomadic journey took them from Kansas to Colorado, on to Washington, and finally to Oregon; but home, at its core, still remained Ramona and the surrounding countryside.

Even after I moved to California in my early 30s a parent myself by that time, “going home” meant coming back to Kansas.

What does it take to establish this thing called home? Maybe it happens with the building of a house, the purchase of land which is owned, worked over, fought for, kept for years and years?

In that way, Angwin, this big amorphous unchartered community semi-hidden in the mountains above the Napa Valley had become my Home, my protectorate, my safe place.

I remember wishing—in fact I still wish—I could come to this beautiful part of the world on vacation, with its balmy summer climate, its miles of groomed vineyards, its clean opulence, its privileged status.

If you could chose anywhere in the country to live, why wouldn’t it be here? There is no incessant wind; only ocean breezes that cool off the land as the sun goes down.

There are no blizzards or tornadoes. Even poverty is held at bay within the confines of the Valley.

It takes a lot of income to thrive in this part of the world. If I didn’t have family here, I couldn’t afford to visit more than a day or two.

Today I am contemplating returning to my Home in Kansas, after spending the summer in California, and I wonder what I’ll miss.

Not the weekend traffic, that’s for sure!

“I won’t see these,” I said to myself as limousine after limousine passed going both directions on the Silverado Trail.

I laughed right out loud. I rarely, if ever, see a limousine in Kansas!

“How much longer can they get these to be?” I wondered.

A black, glistening limo ahead of me and one coming toward me, then a white one, all polished and sleek, heading with their loads of revelers to taste wine.

Hiring a limo is one of the best ways to go wine tasting in the Napa Valley, in my opinion. You can be ferried from one beautiful winery to the next in opulence and not have to worry about how inebriated you become.

One year for my birthday, a friend hired a limo to take us to our restaurant and just drive around the Napa Valley.

We all dressed up in our “wedding” clothes (the fanciest togs we owned) and pretended we were rich and famous, which we thought probably all those folks riding in their limousines were.

It was pretty much a “twice in my lifetime” experience. Great fun, glad we did it, and then they took us Home.

When we first came back to Ramona, there was a limo in town. We laughed and laughed at the incongruity when we first saw it, but it was just Jeannie’s unique way of hauling around a big family of kids for awhile—in a used white limo. After all, they are just big cars.

The closest thing to a limo in Ramona now are a couple of big old cars like the one I call my Grandma Car. I got that used Lincoln years ago because it had enough room to transport my family in comfort, to and from the airport.

It is big old car, suddenly out of sync with parking lot lengths and gas consumption; but it’s so comfortable to ride in and will probably be the car to pick us up at the airport, since my family, my closest relatives, will be Home with me, spending another day in the country.

Last modified Aug. 25, 2016

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