Home, Homing, Homed

Magical World of Marsha
Magical World of Marsha

For many of us, home is a verb. It’s movable. It changes with all that life brings. Somehow, though, whatever else I have in my life, I always have a home.

But I don’t have a hometown, one place of solidarity with the past that I am confident will last into the future. My brother does, and as proud as he is about his home and hometown, it is one thing that I welcome in his life, but can’t replicate in mine. It’s that old story about accepting our differences, accepting ourselves.

Stanley and I have lived in our chicken coop for 3 1/2 years now. It is home, as it has been since the first time we entered the poor old run-down bungalow, long before we turned it into its current state of comfortable unspectacularness. I recently confessed to some travel friends that 3 1/2 years is about my comfortable pace of travel. This is as fast as I want to see things in this world. A childhoood in California, two years in Colombia, three years in Texas, a couple decades in the central valley of California (aiii!), a year in Ukraine, and now this. Is it time to move on? Have I ‘traveled’ the wondrous central Pacific coast, ready to move on to some other place for 3 1/2 or so years?


Who knows? But it won’t be this year. This year, Stanley is on the count for new countries to visit, filling up his list. And I am tagging along. Lord help us.


18 thoughts on “Home, Homing, Homed

  1. I have a hometown, I’m in it. It’s not where I was born or brought up but I’ve now been here half my life and I can’t imagine living anywhere else*. Until we moved to Glasgow 29 years ago, 6 years was my record (and that was in childhood) so maybe when it’s time to settle (or move) you just know? Enjoy your travels!
    *At the moment. This might change when OH retires!

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  2. Your chicken coop looks very inviting. Hope you have wonderful travels this year from Stanley’s list.
    We make home from whatever place we’re staying in – for a night or a few months or anything in between. three and a half years seems a long time to me. We still have a ‘hometown’ where we file our taxes 🙂

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  3. Alison and Don said exactly what we would have said! When we thought about traveling in retirement, we had to assume that time span is limited and we had a lot of traveling we wanted to do. Also, extensive traveling was only going to work for us if we had no house expense to maintain “back home” while we paid for a bed on the road. “Homing” will still happen when we unpack our suitcase in a few years and settle down. And we are looking forward to that! But, for now, we have more places to see and experiences awaiting us.

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    1. Beth (and Joe) – It’s such a fun conversation. We’ve mapped out our travel for this year, but you are influencing us – I think it’s road-trip North America for 2017, should we be fortunate enough to see those plans through! Camping, hiking, air-b&b. I will be checking your blog for back-story posts!

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    1. The travel list nearly makes me tremble – with excitement and angst. We’ll be crossing (round trips) the Atlantic twice – once to the Baltic region and once to Spain. It’ll be fine once we get there, but those long travel days are tough on this old dog!


  4. Your home looks really comfortable and inviting! I have lived in so many places too, but now feel one can see the world from a home-base. A place to return to. I’m probably getting old while you are still full of wanderlust 🙂

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  5. I felt “root-less” growing up in what I refer to as the transition-between-fruit-orchards-and-silicone-valley. Moving to the East Coast (I cannot say “back East” as this would imply that I started there), I found fertile soil of it’s centuries of European-connected history. I recall going down to Battery Park in Manhatten to watch the fleet of tall-ships sail into the harbor on the 500th anniversary of Columbus voyage to the New World. Five years in NYC, then ten years across the Potomac River from the Capitol. Now nearly 13 years in a log cabin in the mountains. When we stay in Colonial Williamsburg, and the restaurant hostess asks what state we are from, I just say “The Frontier just west of the Allegheny Mountains”. They know what I mean. If they hesistate, I reminded them that General Washington passed through the region during the French and Indian War on the way to Fort Desquene. Then, they know what I mean. Except for the possibility of and end-of-life stay at an assisted living facility in town, I anticipate another 30 years in those mountains before my ashes should be scattered on the garden that will have sustained our roots for close to half a century.

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  6. When people ask where I’m from I name the states I grew up in, then the ones we lived in as we followed career opportunities and my Facebook Hometown area is blank. I’ve always loved moving and maybe that’s why our traveling life is so appealing. I don’t think “home” has to be any one place, rather it can be where you feel comfortable and engaged with the world around you. Anita

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