In 1995 I moved to Georgia to begin a new life. I was a new U.S. Air Force Veteran, a recent college graduate and a young single parent of a 4-year-old daughter. Sixteen years later I still maintain a home in this southern state. Now I have three more children and quite a bit more life under my belt. One of the things life experience has made me appreciate and desire is having a comfortable, stress-free, cozy and well-equipped domicile to enter into. My current residence, the fourth since I moved her, has afforded me the opportunity to alleviate the stress of home repairs, property upkeep and emergency expenses. Instead I have concentrated on making this home. (Have you seen my decorating efforts? Check out My new life, a post that features pictures of my decorative touches.)
But it doesn’t matter how homey it is, I still have another home – two, in fact. The city of New Castle in Delaware is where I was born and raised and a small, but growing town in Maryland is where my mom still lives. Those two states – and a few surrounding ones – hold what makes them home: my family (98 percent of them), my friends and my memories. Like the carefree walks through my suburban Delaware neighborhood to the 7-Eleven around the corner and the city park that was up the street from my grandparents’ home. And the time a deer trotted inches from my new first car as I cruised the back country roads with the windows down. I could hear the sounds of his hooves on the blacktop road as if it were yesterday. I still remember the fast food joints where I worked and the places I explored my first experiences of pleasure. I can visualize the town before video rental stores, shopping centers and fast food less than 10 minutes away.
All of that makes both Delaware and Maryland, as well as Georgia, my homes. It’s not necessarily my physical location as it is the feelings, meaning and experiences behind these places. I guess that would make the saying “home is where the heart is” true.
I wish I could find pictures of all of my homes to show you, but someone – who shall remain nameless – has not figured out how to organize the thousands of pictures we have. Where do you call home?