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Archive for April 25th, 2011

This is Home

I write this on April 22, as I am looking out past the lanai, at the sun rising over the houses, reflecting in the pond behind out condo. It is 7:30am, and everyone else is asleep. Ahhhhh!

I have been here, with my oldest daughter, in North Port, Florida (the sunny, turquoise water, Gulf Coast), visiting my hubby, son and youngest daughter, for five sleeps now. They left home, on hubby’s sabbatical, to drive here (from British Columbia … can you see me making the ‘L’ for loser sign on my forehead?). We had all been apart for almost four weeks, when my oldest and I arrived.

In just one and a half sleeps (it’s one and a HALF because the flight leaves at 7am, meaning I’ll need to be at the airport at 5am, meaning the alarm clock will need to be set for … I so don’t want to entertain that!), my daughters and I will board a plane in Orlando, Florida and head back to the Northwest, land in Seattle, and then head to the great north, to the place we call home.

But what is home? Where is home? How can I be sure?

Recently there was a study released of the Best Place in Canada to live 2011. And the four places I have lived were on that list (I always check, because I have them prioritized in my head, but it is fun to see if someone else agrees with me).

Currently I live in Langley, BC … and it is so beautiful! And it was rated #44 … out of 180! I’d say that was pretty good for a place that has everything a person could need or want, in the Vancouver area, and is littered with farms and greenhouses … nice contrast. Our son, Ben, was born here. From the hospital, high on a hill, we could look down on the valley and watch the fog lift in the morning. This is all Ben knows of home.

Prior to Langley, I lived in North Vancouver, it was rated #98. I think it’s good marks must have come from it’s proximity to Vancouver, because it was certainly not it’s affordability! Nonetheless, in the summer, it is the most beautiful place to live (in the winter, you need anti-depressants just to get out of bed). Our youngest daughter, Cris, was born here, early in April, with Magnolia trees, full of blossoms, surrounding the hospital.

Then there was Orleans … and it was rated, for the second year in a row (as part of Ottawa-Gatineau) as #1! This is the home where hubby came to the conclusion that hell is not hot, but cold (-50 windchill will do that for you. Imagine, living in a winter wonderland where tobogganing could result in frost bite … before even taking one run down the hill). Our oldest daughter, Brytt, was born here, just across the street was the autumn colored, trees, lining the Rideau Canal. This was the home, that felt most like home, as so few in Ottawa-Gatineau are from there, so everyone is from ‘somewhere else’, and everyone strives to make it home, for each other.

And then, the only home I knew until I was 21 (and that was half a lifetime ago!), #11 … out of 180, Moncton, New Brunswick! Okay, so I didn’t actually live in Moncton, but a village (my kids think it is hilarious that I grew up in a ‘village’ … their only knowledge of ‘village’ comes from the Shrek movies … quite a comparison!), just minutes down the highway. Only about 1600 people lived in the village … and, believe me, everyone there knew everything about anyone there! It was a great place to grow up, with four distinct, equal seasons (maybe not so equal this year, though). And there are so many wooded areas, you never see bears while out for a walk! (or snakes, for that matter)

But, what is home? Where is home? How can I be sure?

Hubby and I have often talked about moving to sunny San Diego, California, once our youngest graduates high school. You see, we chose Langley as our home, way back when our oldest was in kindergarten. We liked what the community could offer to a young family. We thought it would be good to ensure our kids would grow up knowing, as we did, a sense of hometown. So, we chose Langley as their hometown, and have trusted that God would provide meaningful employment for us. And He has.

The rain, the dark, endless winters (aka. monsoon season) of the Lower Mainland drive me crazy! And I pray for release from this wet, dark bondage.

But, I am starting to see a flaw in our long range dream of moving to San Diego, once the kids are done school. We have worked so hard to develop ‘hometown’ for them, in Langley, BC, that if we move, they will probably stay. All of a sudden, we are faced with ‘home’ without our kids. Now that is not so unusual, nor is it bad, but …

what is home?

where is home?

At one point in our lives it was more narrow, more black and white. It was owning a house. Living in a nice community, that was safe, and family-friendly. It meant finding one school that all of our kids would graduate from.

Here, on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida, with Palm Trees swaying in the breeze, I am coming to the realization that ‘home’ is where-ever we are, as a family. For this week, home is in a condo, in Florida. Next week, home will be in Langley, BC, for three of us. And from Florida, to Dallas, to San Diego (hello Legoland), to Oregon and everything in between will be home, for a time, for the guys in our family.

We have such fond memories of all of the places we have called home, and, in the words of Maya Angelou, “You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s alright.”

April 24, 2011

As a postscript, today, my daughters and I were driving North from SeaTac Airport. As our vehicle crossed the US Canada border this above song starts playing, and doesn’t go unmissed by any of us …

“And now, after all my searching,

After all my questions,

I’m gonna call it home.

I got a brand new mindset,

I can finally see the sunset,

I’m gonna call it home.

Maybe this is home … “

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