From Wilmington, we took IL-102 over to Kankakee where we caught US-52, which we continued to follow back to Indianapolis. The afternoon was long and hot. We rotated music in the CD player, the kids played with stuffed animals in the backseat, and we counted down how long we had left on our trip.


I hopped out to pose at the Indiana State Line, and another group of travelers honked and waved.


Traveling is all very well. We learn a lot by traveling, some pleasant and some un-. We learn about ourselves and others. We learn patience.

We see new sights and strange places. Travel opens our eyes and our minds. But we need home to come back to for travel to be any good at all. One needs to come home to really appreciate travel—and, perhaps, one must travel to really appreciate home.

Somehow, crossing that state border made everything look nicer. Friendlier. Our license plates and accents didn’t overtly set us apart. We were locals once again.

At the end of every trip, we pull into the street in front of our house, and I say, “Well, the house is still there.” Maybe it sounds a little cynical, but it’s a relief to say it. The house is still there, and now we’re here, too. Welcome home.