Home Is Where My People Are: The Roads That Lead Us to Where We Belong

Free Home Is Where My People Are: The Roads That Lead Us to Where We Belong by Sophie Hudson

Book: Home Is Where My People Are: The Roads That Lead Us to Where We Belong by Sophie Hudson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sophie Hudson
to marry Barry and move to Nashville. Sister and Barry bought their first house, for heaven’s sake, before I could even drive.
    As I got older, though, the distance between our ages became a little easier to navigate. That process was a gradual one, for sure, but I have avivid memory of when I started to feel like I had something to contribute to the collective sibling conversation. I was in ninth grade, and Daddy and I had traveled to south Mississippi for a family reunion at a beautiful old country church. That particular reunion was the first time that I really wanted to sit around and listen to the stories (as opposed to, oh, walking around the church fellowship hall and making a point to sample all the cobblers), and about two hours into the afternoon, I sat next to my daddy’s aunt Cecil at a picnic table. Aunt Cecil had long enjoyed a reputation as a “character” in our family, but since I’d never really experienced the force of her personality live and in person, I figured I’d have a seat next to her and see what all the fuss was about.
    I kid you not   —I’d been listening to Aunt Cecil’s conversation for all of five minutes when I heard her say, “Frankly, I don’t know what in the world she wants to have to do with him. I’d rather be alone than have him for a husband. Plus, I’ve heard for years that when he was in the war he had a run-in with a grenade and got his tallywacker blown off. But that’s none of my concern, now is it? If she thinks he’ll make a good husband, that’s her business, I reckon. SHEWWWWWW.”
    My favorite part was that when she said the part about the grenade, she reached over and patted me on the arm. LIKE I NEEDED TO MAKE SURE TO SYMPATHIZE.
    I may have only been fourteen years old. But I knew the first thing on my Monday morning agenda was to call Sister and Brother and fill them in on the storytelling glory I had just witnessed.
    And y’all, it was the strangest thing, but when I told Sister and Brother that story and they laughed out loud, it was like I’d crossed over. Granted, I was still the baby of the family   —nothing could ever change that   —but I felt like a participant in the conversation instead of just an observer.
    And I liked it.

    By the second semester of my freshman year at State, I was fully in the habit of talking to Brother, Sister, and Barry once or twice a week. It was mighty sweet of them to make time for their younger sister like they did;now that I’m older, I completely recognize that it’s no easy feat to include an eighteen-year-old in your life when you’re twenty-eight and thirty-two.
    And that spring, Sister went above and beyond the call of sibling duty.
    Barry’s job had taken them from Nashville to his hometown of Atlanta, and in the process of trying to figure out her work situation, Sister reconnected with a friend from college. Over the course of several conversations, Sister and her friend Kerri decided that the timing was perfect for starting their own special events company. Much to their surprise, the new business took off right away (disclaimer: the success of the business shocked absolutely no one else; they were both cute as buttons, smart as whips, and “personality-plus,” as my mother-in-law would say), and before the ink had a chance to dry on their new business cards, they’d booked several events for the upcoming summer, which was only a few months away.
    So. Faced with an abundance of work and no employees, it dawned on Sister that my cousin Paige and I might enjoy living in Atlanta and working with her and Kerri over our summer break. Paige was finishing her junior year at Ole Miss, and she was as game for a little summertime adventure as I was. The plan was that we’d live at Kerri’s house, which is where the business was based, and in addition to all the experience we’d get, we’d earn a little money, too   —all while hanging out in the biggest of the Southern cities.
    There was

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