At the end of this month, my family will celebrate what I call our “house-iversary.” In 2003 my husband and I packed our meager belongings into a U-Haul truck and said goodbye forever to city life in Tulsa. The move was prompted by several things: increasing crime in our Tulsa neighborhood, growing annoyance with city living in general, and readiness to trade up for a nicer home for our future children. The timeline involved was unprecedented. Total time from decision, to finding our new home, to selling our old one was less than a month. Our Tulsa house sold in thirteen days – I think God wanted us out of Tulsa even worse than we did!
In the 12 years we’ve lived here we’ve grown to love Claremore in a way that neither of us have experienced before. I grew up in a tiny town one county over (I’ll refrain from saying which). It was a good place to grow up, full of good people, and still is. But for me it never really felt like “home.” I never felt the sense of belonging, the sense of community or the feeling of contentment there that I feel every day in Claremore. I couldn’t wait to get out of that town, and started breaking away the instant I received my high school diploma. My husband grew up in Tulsa, a large city where the sense of belonging and community that really connect a person to their home town are more difficult to find. So you might understand how we felt when we moved here and quickly began to feel like we were truly home.
For us, Claremore is a Goldilocks town: not too big, not too small, but just right. Large enough to have everything we want and need, small enough to feel like we’re grounded here and connect to our neighbors. Thanks to a previous sales job I had, I have visited virtually every single business in Claremore at least once, and many much more often. My husband has worked 10 years for a prominent local business. Between the two of us it feels like we know everyone in town. Which, believe me, is great when you need help with something! It seems like one of us always “knows a guy.” I love driving into town and knowing all the shortcuts, all the side streets, all the ways to beat the train. I love going to the grocery store and seeing people I know. I love supporting our local businesses and keeping our money in our town. Claremore isn’t perfect (cue the chorus of exasperated voices lamenting the trains) but we love it anyway. And isn’t that what real love is about? Loving something despite its flaws?
So when we celebrate our house-iversary, I will do what I do every year: say a quiet prayer of thanks for being lucky enough to find a place for our family to live and grow and be content. To be Home. There’s no place like it.