Home is…

After many, many moves, from one end of the country to the other I have asked myself where my home is.

I am not the only one who has asked me this question. My sister asked me where I thought of as home. For her the question is easy. She has lived in two homes in her adult life. She raised her children primarily in one house. There were no changes in schools, neighborhoods, friends, or routines except those dictated by the needs and requirements of their growing family. She is minutes away from our parents, and brother. I have owned many houses, in five states, and have lived for short periods in other places.

The hardest move was Lancaster Pennsylvania where the red dirt made me nauseous. I have traveled the country so I knew dirt could be a wide range of colors from red, brown to black. But seeing the red dirt everyday was disturbing, when the dirt of my world was brown, red just looked wrong. As wrong as an orange sky. Being five hours from family in Ohio, we took every opportunity to “go home,” rather than make our life in Pennsylvania.

The easiest move was to Seattle Washington. Luckily my daughter’s husband was stationed at Bremerton Naval Base, so I got to see her frequently. I got to be there for the birth of my granddaughter, Kylie. My in-laws were also there. Ohio was far enough away, that I had to make my life in Washington. I loved the mountains, and had always wanted to live in them from the time of childhood trips to the Rocky Mountains. Frequent flier miles kept me in touch with the rest of the family in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The best climate was Oceanside, California. Relentlessly excellent weather, six miles from the beach, and ocean breezes allowed us to leave our windows open without being plagued by bugs. Butterflies would come and go from the living room. I could have lived there forever, except that family was to far away.

I planned on living in each of our homes for a lifetime. I selected my homes based upon projected needs of myself and my family. A down stairs bath and bedroom was a requirement just in case a parent would have to move in with us. Enough bedrooms for visiting family, and space our grandchildren would love. We poured our time and money into these places. Things purchased for one home didn’t always fit well in subsequent places.

I never chose to live far away from family. It was the consequence of choosing to stay with the man I married, which was encouraged as right and good by Mom and Dad. We have had a good life, and lived in interesting places, but I cried leaving the comfort of my extended family, and continually tried to arraign my life to bring me back to them. Now choosing a place to live close to family is a little more difficult, with our children and grandchildren living in different areas.

I am in another new house, having fun decorating my doll house. But where do I feel at home? I feel at home when I’m talking to, or with my family and friends. I’m home with my parents, with my children, with my grandchildren, with my brother or sister, either in person, on line, or on the phone. That is when I feel at home, when I am with those who have my heart.

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