Where do you live? Is it the same place as your home?
It’s interesting that so many could answer the second question with a no. Home, oftentimes, isn’t where you live, it’s where you grew up. It’s where you spent your childhood scrapping your knees, riding your bike around the neighborhood and sometimes where your parents still live.
Home has always been a fluid idea for me. I was born in Racine, Wisconsin but only lived there until the summer before first grade. I then live in Stow, Ohio, until middle school before moving just one town away for the rest of junior high and high school.
I haven’t been back to that town in Ohio in more than a decade. No specific reason, it’s just that most of my friends would have rather come to visit me in the big city or now in the Wild West.
After high school I attended school in Chicago and while I was there my parents moved back to Wisconsin. Now, they split their time between Wisconsin and Iowa. Somewhere in there, I considered Chicago home. The Windy City will certainly always have a place in my heart.
Now, though, after almost a decade in Sheridan, this little community — which was so shockingly different from anything I had known — is home.
I miss my parents; there are times I miss Chicago. Those places aren’t home, though.
That’s why it’s so fascinating to me when you hear friends and acquaintances talking about “going home” to visit their folks. One person who recently did just that has lived in Wyoming for decades. But, where her parents are is still “home.”
She calls her house in Sheridan home too, though.
Can you have more than one home?
I could insert quotes here about home being where the heart is, where your story begins or any number of other phrases. Home could truly be whatever and wherever you define it. You could describe a home base (like in baseball or as in a launching point for adventures), a cozy fire-warmed abode or where your family resides.
One of my favorite songs defines home as being with somebody you love. One of the lyrics says, “If your heart was a house I’d be home.”
The idea of home has been prevalent in my mind lately. A co-worker recently left Sheridan to retire in South Carolina where much of his family resides. He worded the decision as one that included “going home.”
Another friend will soon move closer to “home,” which in this case is defined as where his parents are located. He’s lived in Sheridan for a few years, but will move farther west to lay down roots.
Maybe the only way to define home as an idea rather than a location comes in the form of one of those cheesy quotes: Home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.