I’ve lived in big cities, small towns, and the suburbia in between.
Each address carries with it a memory of tiny galley kitchens, jars of quarters for laundry, pulling weeds, or shoveling snow.
Each street reminds me of the times I walked home, or caught a ride home, or drove sleeping babies around the block.
There have been trick locks, temperamental thermostats, and drafty windows. Cozy fireplaces, skylights, and secret oak floors hidden beneath wall-to-wall carpeting. The brick, wood, and wallpaper of each house or apartment I’ve lived in have become the walls of my home, even if only for a short while.
I have loved each zip code and the homes within them for the layers they have added to my life and the lessons they taught me.
The one super short green light in the center of town taught me about timing and patience.
The streets with the best Christmas decorations helped me believe in magic.
The car garage guys who told me to “just come pay them whenever” when I didn’t have cash taught me about trust.
And the grocery store that always has good sales on yogurt, well that was just helpful.
Each home has left me with memories of milestones and of the mundane.
They have shared with me with big windows for wishing on stars, the sound of the rain on the roof, and the panic caused by overly sensitive smoke detectors.
I sometimes wonder what homes might be in my future.
What oddly situated light fixtures, floorboard creaks, and local library hours will become normal to me someday.
For the foreseeable future, I plan to be here in the place where women with thick accents call me “hon” as I walk out of the small café in the center of town. Where my driveway is covered in acorns, and the town Facebook group gives you a heads up about bear sitings. But chances are there will be another place someday where I will lay my head down and be at home, but more importantly, feel at home.
Home is a funny thing.
It can be with you for a lifetime or sneak up on you while you subconsciously slow down at the curve in the road you have come to know as a popular place for turtles to cross. In that moment you realize your address is more than a place to get your mail, it’s a piece of you.
They say home is where your heart is, or where your people are, but I’m beginning to think home is also where the little things add up.
Where those added up little things become the big things.
Where the big things turn into feelings that you just can’t shake.
And those unshakable feelings? You wouldn’t shake them even if you could.