Circa September 13, 2011
Home: Shaver Lake, CA. Growing up on a lake is pretty tough to beat. Every time I go home, I bathe in the bright sunlight, much brighter than we have here in Virginia, and I am in awe of just how blue the sky really is when you look at it through the top of the massive, 200 ft pine trees. Watching them sway in the wind reminds me a lot of my childhood. The summers are warm and dry, the water is just cold enough to make you scream when you jump in, and the meadows are like nothing I’ve ever seen anywhere else (except Yellowstone). My kids spend every summer there with their grandfather, fishing, hiking, and shooting guns. My husband rakes leaves and stacks wood for my dad, and stokes the huge fireplace in the living room while we sip wine and watch football every Thanksgiving. When I’m there, I’m calm, I don’t wear makeup, and I could care less if my legs are shaved.
Home: Camp Pendleton, CA. We have raised our family, in part, at Camp Pendleton. I remember walking the beach with no one on it on Sunday mornings when Frick was a baby because the husband had access to our own ” private paradise.” Light Armored Vehicle drivers used to wave at my son through the kitchen window from atop their turrets, waiting at the stop light on the road beside our house. I met my first military friends there. My kids learned to play sports there. I joined “Mommy and Me” there. As they got older, we spent nearly every afternoon with our toes in the sand after school. They would body board, I would read and make sure they weren’t sucked out to sea by a rip current. There is Sonny’s Pizza, La Siesta’s tortilla soup, and Pedros tacos. I miss the skate park, running on the beach, and above all, some of my best friends.
Home: DC/Virginia. We’ve raised our kids here, too. We’ve ping ponged back and forth between the coasts. In DC, my oldest son learned to ride a bike. In Stafford, my youngest son did. In DC, I learned the city on foot by training for a marathon and working downtown. I took the train every day, stopped at Au Bon Pain for breakfast EVERY morning, and had the best job I’ve had to date (though the one I have now is a close second). My husand and I both graduated from college here in the area. In Stafford, we bought our first home, learned that sweat equity is not all it’s cracked up to be, and we aquired two, new members of our family: our dogs. I’ve watched Frack turn into an awesome athlete, and Frick grow into a independant, charming, smart, musical 8th grader. I’ve learned to appreciate the fall leaves and the spring flowers blooming, and there is nothing like Union Station lit up with giant, sparkling wreaths at Christmas time. I’ve also met some of my other bestest friends here.
Home: New England. No, I’ve never lived in Boston, but I married a Bostonian, which is pretty much the same thing as being drafted. Over the past 14 years, the Pats, Celtics, and Sox have become my teams. I’ve aquired some of the best friends I have ever had in my life; they are family. The summers are amazing there. They know how to plow snow. The water is clear and gorgeous, and everyone’s accent is wicked awesome. I feel a sense of peace there, too. Like we belong there on so many levels. Every time we visit, it crushes me to have to leave.
I’ve noticed “home” has a commonality: my family and my friends. It doesn’t matter where we are or where we go, as long as we have each other. I’m always going to miss “home” but it can’t define who I am or who we are as a family. I’m a Californian. I’m a Virginian. I’m a Washingtonian. But, I’m also a woman, a friend, a mother, a wife, and part of a wonderful family. We have been so lucky to have had the opportunities to see new places and try new things. I’m only 35. I have a feeling life has a few more “homes” in store for me. So, instead of whinning about wanting to go “home” I need to be content with whatever “home” comes next.