Whether the sky is milky, distorting the tree line with wisps of white feathers; or whether it’s dingy with shiny liquid drops littering the windows, the weather never entices you to stay inside more than on those days. And, often times, I’ve given in and found contentment in the comfortable places indoors. 

Sheldon Cooper personifies this feeling expertly in the show The Big Bang Theory saying, “That’s my spot.”

Whenever I walk into a room, I find my place where I want to sit, if I don’t have it already in mind when I arrive there. Today, it’s a couch with maroon suede upholstery that sits upon an antique oriental rug draped over worn hardwood floors. Tomorrow, who knows?

It could be a padded, high-backed chair, a table that has just the right amount of warmth and light placed next to a window. It could be a local coffee shop, a bookstore, or a couch at home with a fleece blanket curled around your shoulders, draped over your legs which are tucked neatly beneath you, coffee in your right hand and a book in your lap.

As you can probably tell, I’ve had many a quiet, cozy, and comfortable place in which I’ve spent hours perusing a book or sipping slowly at a cup of coffee. Sometimes, I’ve even just taken in the moment and peace that comes with staring out a nearby window thinking about life (not the stressful parts). And, no matter where I was, I felt comfortable, almost as if I were at home again.

“Home wasn't a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.” ― Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye

As I’ve been away from home, I’ve found these comfortable places essential to survival, and more often than not I’ve been with some amazing people. 

There’s Books-A-Million, Starbucks on Route 22 where I would meet many of my friends after school or on the weekend just to talk, King’s, the library, the Parlors, Little Amps, and others. But there are two that hold special places in my heart.

There’s St. Thomas Roasters, where I am never ceased to be relaxed whether its seated at a tiny octagonal stand just big enough to set a mug on, the worn tan couch with the Linglestown blanket draped across the back, or a picnic-patterned cloth-covered table with mismatched chairs where my friends and I made a home playing cards or chess. The dark green walls and gilded ceiling trap us in from the outside world, scenting our clothes with the aroma of freshly roasted coffee, preventing us from ever doubting that there could be a cozier place.

There’s Midtown Scholar, where I’ve been awed by its levels of shelves sporting manuals, fresh paperbacks, cookbooks, and ancient tomes impregnated with dust and worn covers that crack if you so much as look at them too long. What mysteries I longed to discover there, along with the hours I spent with completing homework, browsing for hours, and taking tea or coffee in the gallery with live music every third Friday of the month. There’s no better enchanting place for readers to dream about uncovering the secrets of long-forgotten times and subjects, an no more inspirational place for escape.

I’m going to leave the descriptions there so you’ll have to visit yourself to really understand what makes these places so special to me. If it wasn’t for them, I’d have a harder time trying to miss home and wouldn’t have gotten to make so many memories with some incredible people. Now, one of the best parts about going home is knowing that I’ll be able to go back to those places, embracing the same comfort as you would embrace your best friend.

Finding these cozy and comfortable places, I’ve been able to find a home as well— a place which I can always come back to, without fail.

Published by Anne Long