Monday, May 12, 2008

I do have a home

Three times in the last week I was asked about my "hometown".

Each time I gave a different answer. And now I'm wondering: Do I have a hometown?

Is my hometown the little Oregon city where I graduated from high school? We have Oregon plates and file taxes in Oregon, but we only lived there a few years. My parents don't live there any more. My sister, Heather, is the only McB still in Oregon. I love beautiful Hood River, but is it my hometown?

Maybe my hometown is the Utah town where my parents currently live. I've never lived there, but going "home" makes me think of visiting my parents and sisters. I love visiting there, but I'm not sure if it is "home".

Or is my hometown the California city where I was born? The same city where two of our children were born. Where we lived for the first 5 years we were married. Where Nathan's parents still live. Is that home?

Maybe my hometown is the last town we lived in, where we hope to return on our next move. Hawaii feels more like home, but I don't think I can call it my hometown...And our poor kids. Where will they call home?

Do I have a home? (I do have a home, I know I do, said the baby bird)

I may not have a "hometown" but I know what home is. Home is with Nathan. Something is missing around here. It just doesn't seem like home without him.

"I cast my lot in with a soldier, and where he was, was home to me." (Martha Summerhayes, nineteenth-century Army wife)

Where is your home?


A Soldier's Wife..... said...

I have always followed the Martha Summerhayes view, I just wish more spouses saw it that way, I will never fully understand their thinking, but I cast my lot many years ago with my soldier, I do not run to family during deployments, I hold the "homefront" down in the home we have built together, no matter what town or installation that may be located in, or when people ask my hometown, I tell them I was raised in Maryland but my home is where ever my soldier is stationed, I did not get married to ever state that my home was anywhere but by his side.

Donna Boucher said...

So touching.
When does Nathan come home?

For us, it seems to be the town of our younger days.
Grade school and highschool days.

Jenna said...

I can definitely relate to this because as a kid I went to 11 diferent schools. My parents weren't military, I just moved a lot!

So people would ask me where I am from and I would tell them Wyoming (which is where my family has a ranch) and then they would say they were from Maine, or Texas or Florida or Iowa, and I would say,"Oh! I have lived there!" and we woudl talk about it, and they would say,"But I thought you were from Wyoming." I would say sort of.

I really grew up all over the country. I lived on the east coast for a long time, but I really love Colorado, Arizona, and Wyoming. Adam moved quite a bit too, but we are both pretty darn attached to Arizona, which is where we went to boarding school together. I think we are both hoping we end up there some day.

And for some reason I always write these super long comments on your blog.

Mary said...

I have had very similar conversations quite recently and although we aren't a military family, four years now is the longest I have been in one house since high school.

I usually tell people that I grew up on the west coast, or I'll say I grew up in California and Oregon, without comitting to a home town. With mom and dad now being in Utah, it's just too confusing to claim just one place. I guess I don't really claim a hometown anymore!

Randy of course grew up in the same house in California all his life, but that house is no more, and his parents now live in Utah too. So when we say we're going home to visit, we are going to Utah to homes neither of us grew up in, but it's still going home!

Long long comment! But real home is wherever we are living, and we have been happy in each place! What's weird to me is to realize that Maryland is where our kids will say they grew up since I don't see us leaving anytime soon - so I guess that really does make it home!

Mary said...

p.s. I really love the idea of putting down roots and staying in the same place for years and years, especially when our kids are growing up. Does anyone actually do that anymore? It seems rare that people live in one house for 30+ years like Randy's parents and even they have since moved on. But I love the idea of a true hometown/home, if that makes sense.

Tori :) said...

I've always agreed with the saying "Home is where the heart is." My heart belongs to Sei, so I'm home anywhere with him.


nikko said...

I agree! Home is with our sweeties.


Reasa said...

I am an AF brat turned Amry wife. I have always just shrugged my shoulders and said I grew up all over. I found it easier than trying to explain that I was born in another country and never lived in one place more than a few years.

Don said...

My home is Laie, although I haven't lived there for a decade and a half.

I hope you don't mind me returning to the islands vicariously through your blog. I have really enjoyed it.

wendy said...

How fun to wake up to so many comments!

ASW - exactly!

Donna - he should be home in August. Thanks for asking. We're getting closer...

Jenna - I've never lived in Arizona - how cool that you both went to boarding school there.

Mary - one thing I love about our ward is all the extended families who have lived here for years and years. and would never live any where else. I'm a teeny bit jealous.

Reasa - there really is a sense of community in the military, even without an actual hometown. I like the shrug in your answer, I'm going to have to borrow that.

Hi Don, thanks for visiting! We love Laie, it is such a pretty little town, but for some reason I just cannot remember what order to pronounce all those vowels.

Deanne said...

I can relate, sort of. I find myself in a similar position when talking about our recent move (two years ago next month, yikes! guess it's not so 'recent' was it?) Anyway, people ask where we are from, referring to the move, but I can't help but tell them where we just moved from but that we are not from there originally. It is a little exhausting and confusing. I should just let people make their own impressions and conclusions. *sigh*

Ann M. said...

I agree with you--home is where my husband is. It's just a house when he isn't here. When we talk about going to visit either set of parents (and both sets have lived in their respective homes for awhile), we call it exactly what it is: we're going to our parents' house.

I'm going to be spending the majority of this short deployment at my family's house and although it is necessary this time, I really don't like it. I'd rather be here.

Butterfly Wife said...

I'm with ASW. "Home is where the heart is." And that is wherever I currently am. Or at least that's my plan. :D

Jrzy Army Wife said...

My physical home is here in Hawaii... but home home is definitely NJ. I was born in SI, NY and lived there til I was 12 but when someone asks my hometown I always give the town in NJ. I guess I'm just a jersey girl at heart.

What's your schedule look like.. over the next few week. Wanna try and meet up?

Just Jenny said...

I really love this post.Infact could not help but make a comment. Which I think is the first time on your blog.

My hubby and I just were talking about "Hometown" and where ours was. It started at his office one day. We both have done a lot of moving. He figured in his life of 47 years he has moved 57 times. I was wowed because We have been married going on 18 years and 16 of those moves have taken place being married. In the last 5 years we have had to move 4 times for work. After all that moving. He still feels like his Hometown is where he spent the end of his teen years growing up in Simi Valley CA. As for me, I only made 3 major moves when I was a child. Leaving CA to live in AZ and then going Back to CA. I consider my "Hometown" Oceanside, CA where I really did grow up and was born. We may of lived in different homes in the area. But it is home.

You have caused me to really reflect on this though and am starting to believe that like your quote. Home is where my hubby and children are. And I feel loved/needed the most.

orchard_girl said...

Having really only lived in 2 places, Mo-town CA and HR. I think of HR as being my hometown. I get a teensy bit jealous of friends who grew up here.

Wendy, since your car is still registered in Oregon, as is your drivers license, do you vote here too?

wendy said...

Heather - Nathan has an Oregon drivers license and votes absentee in Oregon. I have a Florida license that is about to expire (must remember to go to the DMV) and I always register to vote locally where ever we have lived. I am registered to vote here in Hawaii.

Hi Just Jenny - thanks for commenting. You guys have moved so much! Wow! You make a good point about home being where you feel needed and loved.

Jrzy Army Wife - I would never have guess Jersey as your home town! Just kidding! I think it would be nice to have to tether back to home. Our schedule looks good next week, but totally crazy the last week of the month. Let me know when!

Butterfly - exactly!

Ann - have fun spending time with your family!

jmcb said...

I have to leave my comment too. I have always thought of my hometown as my birth town - LaGrande but my home is where I live at present. I do like to claim Modesto and HR also. But I don't claim Phoenix even though Heather and Laurie were born there. I think I have a special love or special memories of you kids and Modesto and HR - not so many memories here. When I die I want to be buried in LaGrande - my HomeTown.

Jennifer said...

Hi Wendy, It's always so fun to read your blog & see pictures of you guys! I love John's picture of you... what a treasure! Also, I'm with you, I think home is wherever your sweetheart & family are!

Lee Anne said...

As someone who grew up on a farm and was therefore tied to the land, answering where home is can be a difficult. Luckily, I married another "farm kid" from my hometown, so that even though we move wherever the AF sends us about every two years, we always plant a vegetable and herb garden. That seems to make it home for us. And, we are so much home to each other.

Good post!

Mary Peterson said...

Hi Wendy,
I used to say that home is in Utah, but since I've been out here I keep thinking of Rapid City as home even though we have moved out of our house there. I'm not sure where my hometown is anymore. I do agree with most of your friends that home is where James and I are together. I can't wait until July.