Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Here at the Home

This started as one post, but I split it in two because it outlasted even my own attention span, and I'd like some reader feedback that I'd never get if one had to wade through the whole shooting match. So here goes.

I only have one full day left. I'm going to see my acupuncturist, go for a run (did I mention I've been well fed?), attend the FON first day booksigning, and probably sneak in another game of online Snoodoku. Then I have only to make sure I pack everything I brought with and get the Firefly DVD out of the player, the shampoo out of the bathroom, etc... and it's back to the new job and the new life and the new friends. The new life exiting but still a lot harder than being here. Well, the job is less hard because the atmosphere is nicer, but I did sign up for the change, didn't I?

As much as these last two visits to Boston have been truly fantastic for me, Boston is vacation, SoCal is home. But I'm still not in the phase where it feels like home quite yet. I had the motel tricked out to my satisfaction, and rather felt at home there sometimes. So I think once I make further improvements on the condo, I'll feel more settled too. I also think I need to start re-forming my new life in the image of the old one, but with improvements. Dating more is key. Also need to do the glass art for love and money, find a chorus, promote Cued Speech, and keep exercising. And really take the time to learn my new environment so that it really feels like home to me.

I know that one can have many homes throughout life. Some places one can live in for years and never be home (MN), other places grow on you (Somerville, SoCal), and some are home instantly (MIT). As someone without kids or a sig other or that commemorative cross stitch from great grandma or a spud wrench from grandpa as an anchor, I'm choosing home with determination more than anything. I don't want to count on finding a date to make me feel at home, but I won't rule it out either. I think it's a feeling of ease in a place that is still filled with wonder.

I'd like to hear from blog readers: What is it that tells your heart that you are home? The smell of the backyard after a rain? Calling buildings by numbers? The drag queen theater outings? Tromping through wet leaves on the Minuteman Trail? The restaurant where you can order "the usual"? The neighbor you don't really like, but couldn't imagine living without because they are so colorful? I'm pretty sure it comes back to people, but I'm curious about how other people know they are home.


farmwifetwo said...

What makes this place home. Probably b/c I've since made the space mine. But I still don't have nearby close friends and now that the dh is a Councillor... I have to mind my p's and q's and privacy even more.

Since it's been 9yrs... I'm not certain I care anymore.


Anonymous said...

Home is the feeling I get after a trip, when the cab drives me along the Potomac River and I see my “old friends.” The Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument and the Capitol appear first. Then, as I cross the bridge from Virginia into D.C., the Lincoln Memorial grows closer and closer. I’m not sure why that gives me the “ah, I’m home” feeling, but I definitively don’t feel “home” when I come in from BWI or Dulles. Another “home” feeling comes over when I drive the “back way” to avoid traffic or take an alley “just because” and know that I’ll see cool things from the back view.

I use to feel closer to people here, but I don’t seem to anymore. Maybe I’m keeping my distance. Maybe I’m spending more time thinking about and involved with friends who live at a distance and my family, because of the drama. It’s making me feel dissatisfied. That’s something to ponder and take action on…soon.

Finding a few “favorites” – restaurants, views, hip hangouts – you can share with visitors may be a way to feel “connected.” Definitely taking up those activities you love – the singing – will help net you new people connections and get you feeling more settled and in the “this is home” state of mind. Free advice, worth what you paid. :-)

Trudy said...

For me, it's when I drive up and see my garden....the purple coneflowers, the black eyed susans, sedum, hosta, bright pink flox, shrub roses, bee balm, mountain sage, lavender, lady's mantle, wild geraniums.....all in bloom in varying stages....then I see the finches waiting their turn at the feeder on the coneflowers...the bees in the lavender, who defy the laws of gravity because they are so pudgy and the chipmunk who lives under the porch looking at me to say "what are you doing here?"........I love to see my pretty garden!!!

Alaskan Hellcat said...

Wow... interesting.

Home huh? You know, even though my mom no longer lives in Colorado- When I get to Boulder, I still feel "home"... but Fairbanks is getting there. How I know? Well- I can be glad to be going someplace, but when I am flying back, and I cross the Alaska Range and the Tanana Flats come into view- my heart kinda lifts a little bit.
It definitely helps that we have built a house here- that I met Jamie here- that we have dogs and friends...But it WASN'T an easy process for me here. Fairbanks was like a novelty really. Like "oh, I live in Alaska"- but never a permanent thing. It was harder than I expected to make friends, and sometimes I guess, especially as we get older, it just takes time.

Junior said...

Meowm says...

I think it has alot to do with friends. When I moved to Utah I knew some people and they happened to be who I was going to live with....so I settled in well and felt like I was home. When I moved on to campus....definitely didn't feel like home, but as I got to know people.....it became home.

Currently, aside from having friends nearby......my cat makes this place my home. He is my comfort when no one else is and he is always here, waiting for me to feed, pet or play with him.

Also, when I go to my hometown for Christmas every year....I am going home....so, to sum all this up, home is where I am loved and needed.

kerrit said...

Having moved 13 times in 9 years, it has not always been easy to define ‘home.’ The first nine years of my life were spent with the family following dad’s job. Always in the same state, but always to a different city, or house. Probably explains a lot of why I am the way I am. LOL! When I was 10, the parents finally settled on a spot, the job for Dad worked out, and they stayed there for 10 years. As soon as I was out the door (married at 20), they moved again. Just to a different house, but the place I had come to call ‘home’ wasn’t home anymore. Couldn’t even call where they lived ‘home’ because I had never lived there.

Hubby and I were together 10 years before we had kids, and those 10 years were in a couple different places (same town) where we crashed and stored our junk. A house. A place. Him and me. Oh, yeah, and dog #1.

Then we bought a lot and built a house and had two kids. Got a cat and 2 more dogs. We’ve been here over 20 years. This is home. Built most of the place by ourselves, molded and shaped the yard, and brought our kids into this world. So I guess, for me, ‘home’ is the people first, the place second – and really, the place doesn’t matter, but it’s nice to have, n’est ce pas?

Up My Mind said...

Late to the party. Been thinking on this. For me, it's pretty easy to think of wherever I am living as home, and wherever my parents are living as home.

Maybe it's because we moved a bit growing up (I'm an Air Force Brat). Not as much as a lot of military families. But enough.

For me, it's the familiarity, I think. It's why I decorate as soon as I move in. The little things I put out wherever I live.

Mom always used to put the curtains up first thing when we moved. So it would look like home. Then the bedspreads on our beds. Kind of liking marking the place as "ours". The shell didn't make it the home, what was inside did. Which is why wherever Mom & Dad are, is home to me (along with where I live.)

Outside the home, it's like a lot of others have said: knowing the back roads to get where you're going. Where the restaurants are, which stores are cheaper, when to avoid which roads. The big one for me is when I can give someone directions without struggling.

And just that general lifiting in my heart when I get a glimpse of my town and go "this is my home, this is where I live."

CrankyOtter said...

Thanks everyone, this has been such fun to read! And it's kind of like everyone is saying both the same and different things at the same time.

I've found that where my parents are is not home. Probably because I spent so long wanting to leave. Not because of my parents, but because of my natural independence and the fact that I couldn't figure out what to do with myself in MN. Plus, I used to be able to tolerate the cat, but now I go back and am miserable with the allergies. (Maybe I can sleep in a tent in the yard next time.)

But the collection of flowers, people, kitties, and locations is an interesting collation of "home". Thanks again for sharing! I do struggle with feeling at home out here, and have decided to be goal oriented about making it work. Feeling comfortable in my own space will help, I'm sure. Must move that furniture now that the sofa is here.