HOME

“Where’s home for you?”

It doesn’t seem like a tough question, does it? Most people can offer an answer without hesitating. I don’t fall into that category. In fact, I’ve wrestled with the question more and more over the last 15 years. Sure, I grew up in New Hampshire and consider myself a Granite Stater; but I haven’t lived there since I graduated from from college and our family home was sold years ago. We’re all spread out now–New Jersey, Houston, northern Virginia. My winding career path includes stints in Vermont, upstate NH, western Oklahoma and Oklahoma City, northeast Ohio, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Each of those places (and the people) will always own a piece of my heart; but none of them is home.

In 2020, the word “home” took on a whole new meaning, a completely different connotation. As we were forced to stay home for weeks, even months at a time, for work and school and leisure, it was easy to feel cooped up and stir crazy. Home didn’t feel as much like a haven; it seemed more like a prison for millions of Americans.

As we gradually emerge on the other side of the pandemic and return to the familiar rhythms of our daily lives, I will be content to keep most of 2020 (and the start of ’21) in the rearview mirror. But there is one milestone from the last year that I will always cherish. I bought my first little house on a small plot of land. After years of saving and praying and planning and saving some more, after all the bids and paperwork and timelines, I found a place to call my own.

Valentine’s Day was exactly eight months since the first morning I woke up in my little slice of heaven. That’s fitting since it’s been a labor of love from the beginning. As we turn the calendar to March and mark one year since our lives changed so drastically, I can’t help but recall how my offer was accepted on March 6th. Or that I was going through my home inspection a week later when March Madness was officially canceled. Sometimes I feel like the days have passed in a flash; at other times, I feel like I’ve lived in this house forever.

Moving in the middle of a pandemic is as much fun as it sounds, blah. My family opted to wait until AFTER I moved to arrive like the cavalry, so I was on my own for most of the purging and packing, not to mention the transfer. From the time I signed the mortgage and got the keys, it was literally one carload at a time for three weeks. I couldn’t go anywhere without cable and internet because I was still hosting my radio show from the super-secret home base. Install appointments were hard to come by, so I had to wait. As painstakingly slow as the process seemed, I know now the time was a blessing. The strain was spread out over more than a month, ha. And the yardwork. Not sure when I decided I was superwoman who could lift a lawnmower in and out of my car (not kidding), but caring for two yards over six weeks convinced me my higher calling in life is not landscaping!

The friends who showed up (don’t we all need those??) decided to help by hiring a crew to shuttle the furniture to the new house. It was quick and easy, done in under three hours since I’d already moved the boxes, clothes, closets and kitchen myself. But that Saturday morning and those few hours were a great reminder of the person I want to be: the kind who shows up even when it’s inconvenient and “risky.” They say the best friends in life are the ones who help you move. I say the best friends in life are the ones who help you move in a pandemic while the New York City metro is considered ground zero in the US. An unforgettable lesson that was hammered into my soul last spring: prayers are powerful and they move mountains; sometimes prayer is the only help we can offer. But when it’s not, showing up can make a world of difference. For that and everything else the last eight years, THANK YOU, Gretchen and Scott!

I’ll be honest. Multiple times during my first week in the house, I cried my eyes out and wondered if I made a huge mistake. The place was filthy. I should’ve paid more attention during the final inspection, but I didn’t. So I spent the first week scrubbing, screaming and stressing. I was disgusted, exhausted and overwhelmed. Mom kept telling me the family would be there soon. She was right–they pitched in with the cleaning immediately–but those first seven days turned into a bonding experience for me and my new abode. That first week riding an emotional roller coaster transformed my little house into a home (and gave me hysterical stories to share on the radio). All the effort–the blood, sweat and tears–changed the way I look at this house, with all its flaws and quirks and challenges. Just like a cherished relationship, the effort is an investment and worth all the trouble.

There are so many sweet and precious moments I’ll remember: making up the bed for the first time; watching my family pull weeds, clean out the shed and trim bushes on a blazing hot Sunday; following Penny on a walk three days in when she already knew which yard was ours; the neighbors introducing themselves; seeing all the flowers bloom–peonies, roses, hydrangeas, orange lilies and some crazy butterfly bush; tearing up when my Grammy Helen’s face appeared on Skype; playing my piano the first time; putting up the Christmas tree!! One of my ultimate memories from the first nine months will always be gazing out the window during a blizzard that dropped 20 inches of beautiful snow and listening to the quiet all around me. Blissful.

You can find plenty of greeting card cliches to define “home.” It’s where the heart is, where the pets (and dog hair) are, where we hang our hats and dreams. All of these can be true. Home can also be where we grew up or simply where we reside. I’ve come to understand that my journey was always meant to be more complicated.

Of course, I will ALWAYS be at home wherever I’m with family, even if it’s not my primary address. But over the last year, HOME means so much more. My new home is how I survived the pandemic. Pouring my time and energy into this project reminded me that 2020 wasn’t a total loss. I am blessed beyond measure. My new home keeps me thankful and offers perspective from a God who’s always in control.

For me, home is a sigh of a relief. Home is comfort. Home is letting my guard down. Home is safety and solace. Home is where the people I love are always welcome, day or night. Home isn’t always calm; but my home is peace, the kind that’s priceless.

23 Responses to “HOME”

  1. What an insight essay. I enjoy reading these posts. It lets us see the lady away from the mike. Congratulations on your new home. Stay safe, Amy. Forgive me for stealing your signature sign off, BOOM!😉

  2. Danny Salazar Says:

    Wonderfully written and thank you for sharing. This past year definitely has changed ALL our lives and home should be a place of heart, health and happiness. Enjoy your new home.

  3. wayastar Says:

    Thanks for sharing . I am certain you made a difference for someone . who needs a lift im life. I am reminded of something dr ed cole said “a lot of people fail in ministry because it shows up as work and they don’t want to put in the effort ” so kudos to your friends and family who showed up. God bless you and your friends…

  4. David Carroll Says:

    I am proud of you Amy. I have only followed your career since you have your current position as the late night host for CBS Radio Network. I find you to be an honest hard working individual who puts the time in to make you excellent on the radio. I enjoyed this blog and I am happy that God has blessed your life in 2020 with a home. I wish you all the best. Many blessings and cheers 🙏🏾❤️

  5. robert murley Says:

    Amy—–your sincerity is indeed very well expressed !—Continued success and the best of everything to you always..

  6. Joanne Katz Says:

    Enjoy the coming years in your home. I’m so very happy you have such a wonderful 2020 memory. 🥰

  7. cLos Walthers Says:

    One of the many blessing our Good Lords bestowed upon you is appreciation and respect for the Journey to every moment that brings blood sweat and tears to your kind soul. I am glad you are Home, Aim.

  8. what a wonderful blog….thanks Amy for your heartwarming story of ‘home’.

  9. Linda Miller Says:

    Amy , this is so beautiful and heart-felt. I especially enjoy this because I remember the shows you talked about so much of your move and your getting settled. It meant a lot to me during this very strange, alone year for me. You write as well as you speak. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us.

  10. CAROL MURPHY Says:

    UPLIFTING….Too much to write here as you know, I don’t just say a few words. I hope the empty spaces in your home get filled with new dreams….new hope and new tomorrow’s. Thanks for sharing, AMY……

  11. Susan Saccardi Says:

    Thanks you for sharing such personal thoughts. I am happy you found a wonderful home. Keep posting. I love to listen to your show. I am a huge sports fan. God bless you.

  12. J J John Mack Says:

    Boom
    Great essay – ” 2020 – my new first home “. Yay
    God bless ❤️

  13. Keith Johnson Says:

    You are so right about the quiet when the snow is heavily falling, it is magical. You might have picked the perfect year to make this big move in your life. Or just maybe your heavenly Father knew what it would take to distract you just a bit to help you through that period of time.

  14. Beautifully said Amy.

    May I call it “Penny Lane?”

    Looking like if it goes well we will all
    be vaccinated by end of May.

    Are you ready? A semblance of normalcy
    will be a new thing for the place we call home.

    The priest at my church offered comforting words
    to me not long ago — shortly after the death(s) of
    near & dear soul(s). He said “We’re all just walking
    each other home.”

    Our presence is the present ~ And it’s home plate.

    It makes your house a home and it’s icing on the cake. And well deserved.

    Enjoy it in all its seasons and for all good reasons.

    God bless,
    Greg

  15. Thank you for sharing a little slice of your life.

  16. Don Voetberg Says:

    You’ve touched on something that makes me look back not just at this past year of the pandemic, but the past several years of my life. As a dog person (fur baby person, I have dachshunds, they are my favorite breed) and as a person who has spent the past 24 years traveling across the highways in America, the last several years with my dachshunds, (they are like my kids to me) I have discovered that no matter where I go across the country, no matter where I’m parked for a night, at a truck stop, at a shipper, receiver, at the company’s terminal, at a rest area, as long as I have my babies with me, and as long as I can communicate with friends and family even with just a phone call or FaceTime, I’m always home. It doesn’t matter where you’re at at any given time in this world, as long as you can hold dearest to your heart the ones you love, the ones who love you and know that they’re never more than a simple phone call or text message or FaceTime or Zoom call away, you can always feel like you’re home. It’s when you lose that communication, that conversation, that’s when you feel lost. That’s when you feel like you don’t belong anywhere. It takes more than a wood structure to make a home a home. It’s the love, the peace, the faith you hold in your heart that you can share with others and you can spread throughout that structure that makes a home a home. Thank you for sharing these sentiments with us, Amy. Truly amazing words. Enjoy the new home, may it be filled with love, happiness, peace and joy at all times.

  17. I’m sitting here at 4:15 in the morning reading your block you brought me to tears Amy I love your journey to your new home and may God bless you in your new place and may your animals be happy there my son has two Australian Shepherd‘s and they are the best dogs in the entire world the very best dogs they watch over his babies they guard them constantly and when I fed Bruno who is three now his teeth never touched my hands ever they are the best dogs

  18. Henry Spaulding Says:

    This is very inspiring Amy – you are brave – and smart – and blessed – Hank Spaulding in San Antonio Texas

  19. Ronald Ivory Says:

    Your blog was refreshing and brought back so many memories of my Grandmother (grammy) when she was able to own her home and a few acres. I only discovered your show in 2020 but it reminds me of another late night talk host way before your time named Leon Lewis a quote from him Mr. Lewis said that he intends to dedicate his program to “fun.” He said, “Talk has become heavy on the air. On most shows it leaves people frustrated and angry. Here I intend to let the listeners enjoy themselves.” he also ended his show with this saying “To each is given a bag of tools a shapeless mass and a book of rules and each must make before life has flown a stumbling block or a stepping stone. If you want the key to that golden door beyond which all the great things are, Begin by loving someone,it’s frightfully difficult but richly rewarding.” stay well and all the best to Penny and Sugar and you make 300,000 miles with Princess Leia.

  20. David Black Says:

    Thank you for sharing. Best of luck to you.

  21. Must say, I am enjoying getting to know Amy Lawrence. Thanks for sharing these thoughts with us. I too moved during the pandemic, from Pennsylvania to Delaware for both work and into my mom’s old home since her passing. My job puts me on the road around 4 am and flipping through radio stations brought me to after hours with Amy Lawrence. My routes sometimes veer away from a station that carries your program, but I listen when I can … until you’re off the air at 6 am.

    My former stomping grounds and job were very close to your college locale so am very familiar with that part of PA. But happy to be in slower lower Delaware and be close to family.

    Thanks for being true to your faith as well. Nothing more important than a secure faith in a God who has guided us through the difficulty of the past 12 months. May He continue to do so in the days, months, and years ahead.

    Enjoy your home and God bless!

  22. Shauna B Says:

    Awwww, that is SOOOO sweet. God is INCREDIBLE & I thank Him for your show! You are so knowledgeable! (& hilarious).

    -SB

  23. Mike Stoumen Says:

    Very nice writing Amy. I still remember the feeling of owning my first home, in Upstate NY in 1981.

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