Wednesday, April 26, 2017


I am currently reading At Home in the world: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe, written by Tsh Oxenreider.  It’s a memoir of a family's trip around the world: mom, dad, and three children whose ages (I believe at the time of the trip) are nine, six and four, a daughter and two younger sons.   The family sells their home in Oregon and spends one year traveling the globe; giving the children an education of a lifetime.  

I've been enjoying Tsh's writing so much I looked for her blog, The Art of Simple.  This week on her blog she asked readers to reflect on where they feel at home in the world,  and/or why they've chosen to stay at the place they call home.

As I read her book of adventure, her fears and reflections on life as a  global wanderer, one thing comes to mind over and over:  I could not do this.  As much as I would love to think I would be adventurous enough, in my heart of hearts I doubt it.  I don't dislike travel.  While I've traveled to Mexico enough that I've lost count, (mostly as a youngster when my Hispanic grandparents lived in south Texas), and I traveled abroad once, (a short trip to England to visit our daughter while she was studying there) both of these countries have a familiarity that didn't force me out of my comfort zone.  And although it may have at one time been a dream on my bucket list that we would wait to be empty nesters to embark on such adventures, now that we are empty nesters, one of us retired and the other just a year away,  I'm afraid I've lost my nerve. The world, just in the last eight years since my trip to England, is a vastly different place. 

Now my idea of traveling is to drive our motor home to scenic destinations, where I speak the language if not the dialect, savor local dishes and sites, but always return to my own bed at the end of the day.   The motor home is my comfort zone, the place where I feel is still my home.  My bucket list dream now is to drive our motor home across the country and see as many states as possible.  

At times we think of selling our home, live in the motor home, and dump the increasingly overwhelming upkeep that comes with home and land ownership. Once before in our married life we were homeless.  I was pregnant with our third child, (we have four), and my husband was working about three hours away.  He was working long hours, lots of overtime, which only allowed him to come home on the weekends.  The hotel my husband stayed at allowed the families of the employees who worked for my husband's company to stay for free.  We made the decision to put everything in storage and put the money we would be saving on rent towards a down payment on a home.  We had a great time while living in the hotel.  I delivered our second son while living there.  And I really only missed two things about a conventional home, a yard to plant things in and a kitchen to cook in.  The RV has a kitchen.  

This is the first and only home we've ever owned.  A home we've been in for thirty two years.  We moved in the spring before our oldest started kindergarten.  Our fourth (youngest) child was born the next spring.  At sometime when I wasn't looking that same youngest child carved her name into the banister that overlooks the great room.  And I planted...a lot: cherry trees, two forsythias in memory of my brothers when they passed away, a magnolia tree, and too many perennials to name. 

Our home sits in the center of a rural community which served as the county seat in the 1800's.  Over our time here it's been great fun to learn the local history.  At one time this little community had a school, general store, and a church that is adjacent to our property.  The school no longer stands, the store is falling down, so when the church became available twenty years ago we bought it.  Our oldest daughter was married there in 2008.  

There's so many reasons we've chosen to stay in our home all of these years.  The rural setting, the small town where our children attended school, are just two of the reasons it was a great place to raise a family. Move a blurring fast forward and it's been wonderful to watch our grandchildren play in the same places their parents did.  We've been lucky that all of our children and grandchildren are, at the most, 45 minutes away.  

When we inevitably do leave our home I know what I've planted here over the years are what I will miss the most.  Maybe home will always be where most of my memories are planted.

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