Home can be defined as the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household. I like the idea of living permanently in a place, but that was not in the cards for me.
My earliest memories are living in a Chicago suburb. I didn’t know it was a suburb, if anyone asked me where I lived, I proudly said, “Chicago!” I thought I would live there forever.
After sixth grade we moved because my father found a job that could better support a family of five children. We lived a few months near Washington, D. C. as he completed training for his job. When that was over we drove to Houston, Texas (seventh grade) to live for a year. Houston was never home. It was a place to reside, but nothing felt right in that city. I was considered a northern girl. I didn’t talk like a Texan. I didn’t think the sun rose and set only in Texas or that Texas was the center of the universe. I was relieved when our time in Texas was up.
Next assignment was Kansas City, Missouri (we lived in Overland Park, Kansas; eighth grade). I thought this was going to be home, I was wrong. There was an opening in a field office in Springfield, Missouri, my father got the assignment. Pack up and move again.
I entered high school hoping this would be a place we could stay. We did stay. I tried to leave. I wanted to attend college anywhere else. I went to college in Springfield and lived at home. It was not the college experience I had dreamed about for several years. However, I did meet my husband at that college during my last semester before graduating. 🙂
After getting married, we created a place of residence in another town, but home was back in Springfield where my parents were. I don’t think we ever considered our houses a home until we had our son. Now we were a family and we created a home. I thought this is where we will live until we die. I was wrong.
Another job was offered to my husband and me, so we left the place we called home for twenty years to build a home back in Springfield. It has been home for the past twenty-four years. That’s almost permanent, but someday we will move again. We will move closer to our son. That move will be permanent.
I marvel at the families who have lived in one house for their entire life. I thought that would be my life, but I was wrong. I moved and moved and moved, but even though not all places could qualify as a home by the definition above, I was always a member of a family. That’s what makes a home, the people who surround you.