I don't live with my parents. Haven't for years. Every year, Pesach, Sukkos and sometimes one other time throughout the year, I would end up in my home town. It's a wonderful place, with wonderful people. I like visiting and seeing all of my family and friends, but I'm exceedingly happy that I no longer live there.
As much as I enjoy going home for the Yomim Tovim, I enjoy coming back to my place even more. This year, more so than any other.
My sister was due Erev Pesach. So, my mom made Pesach at home, and then drove it in to the city where my sister resides... Lakewood.
Lakewood is a great place, by many standards. Unfortunately for me, most of those standards are not ones I share. Torah and halacha are of eminent importance, far more important than anything I can think of.
The buck stops there. Beyond the adherence to halacha and the value placed on Torah, me and Lakewood aren't the best of friends. We get along ok, tolerate each other, but I'm happy to leave, and if a city could have opinions on its visitors, Lakewood wouldn't be upset to see me go.
My siblings, bar none, have wondrous relationships with Lakewood. I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if they all ended up there.
Suffice it to say, I was not particularly pleased with the prospect of 1) Not going home and 2) Being in Lakewood for Pesach.
Suck it up, right? I did. I survived. But stepping into my place last night was the most exciting part of my Yom Tov- er, aside from the birth of a new, delicious, healthy nephew and the requisite Bris that followed.
There is no place like home.