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Coming Home

I've been noticing something lately - how, when it comes to living, some people are movers, while others are settlers. A few are a mix of both.

You can usually spot people who were raised by a family that settled down where they lived, who had one or maybe two family homes that they remember. As a whole, they are grounded, comfortable, rooted sorts of people with a few deep longtime friends as their inner circle. Folks who moved around a lot during their childhoods seem, in my experience, to be more gregarious, sometimes more adventurous, adaptable, and have lots of friends - instead of fewer close ones. 

I'd say I fall, like a thud, into the settled category. Oh sure, I've traveled all over the world. Lived other places, other countries, even. But my identity is entirely wrapped up into the longtime places in which I've lived. My current residence is less than 3 miles from my family home (still my mom's place); by contrast, my brother left at 18 and never came back.

This explains, partly, why our recent decision to buy a bigger home and *gulp* MOVE has had such a huge impact. Giant meteorite from outer space impact. While I'm embracing it, know it's a good thing, leaving this place, with its history - my history - is no easy thing. Ghosts of my grandparents walk this house. My childhood, with oatmeal cookie smells, and one particular musty cabinet, a hanging key and the shaky handwriting of my grandfather on a wall transport me back. 

More recently, there are the footprints of my baby girl in the cement. The hard labor of years of renovation, upkeep and relationships past are all hidden in the lush foliage. This is where I came home after marrying my husband, the home where I brought my tiny babies, beneath that tree over there you'll find the buried ashes of my beloved dog.  

My true friends nod in understanding and have already, silently, pacted to be there when we move. Others, less thinking, talk about how the roof won't leak. Make jokes. Talk about how the new place will be more modern. Upgraded. Better. 

And there I disagree. It will be different. It will be right for us in the time we live in it, just as this home was right for us during this time in our lives. But not better. Despite the remodel, it will not hold the soul-fortifying history of a happy life well-lived as this place does - for that sort of love takes time.

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I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >