13 December, 2011

Home Is...Where?

You've all heard the saying, "Home is Where the Heart Is." I've even seen this pin on Pinterest that says "Home is Where Your Husband Is." But is that really where "home" is?

Joe and I were in the car on our way to do some shopping when I mentioned that, even after living here for over 1.5 years, it still doesn't fee like home. Sure, the surroundings are familiar and I pretty much know my way around our slice of the island. But it just doesn't have that "homey" feeling.

That got me thinking... What makes a place feel "homey"? Is it the people, attitudes of the people, surroundings or an attachment to a certain place?

Since we've been married, we've lived in 3 different "houses" in 3 different states. We've been married for 3.5 years. Our first "house" was in NC, where we moved right after we got married.


It was cute, cozy and had a decent yard {which we only used once we got Jasper}. Our landlord lived about 50 yards in front of us, and on a private drive. It was nice and peaceful. We had an amazing church and had a great group of friends. We also lived about a mile from family and were able to spend lots of time with them, allowing me time to get to know my new family. We went through a lot there... I totaled my car within the first 2 months, we celebrated our first married Thanksgiving and Christmas, adopted Jasper, Joe lost his job, enlisted in the Army and went off to BCT and then AIT. See? A lot happened. And it was definitely home.

When Joe was in AIT, I moved to GA so we could actually see each other. We got a cute little apartment in town, not too far from the post. And apparently I don't have any decent photos of that little apartment. I guess I was a bad little blogger back then. =P Anyway, even though we only spent about 6 months there, I began to feel like it was home. It was only a 3.5 hour drive to see family in NC - a drive we made several times. We managed to find a church we liked pretty quickly, it was sort of a small town and I was able to find my way around after less than a month. I still don't understand how that place felt anything like home... We only lived there 6 months!

And then we moved here, to Hawaii. House number 3 in almost as many years.


As I said before, we've been here for over a year. Okay, well I have been here for over a year. Joe has been here for about 8 months total, thanks to deployment. I've made friends, found a couple favorite beaches, places to shop and know my way around. I don't know if it's that Hawaii is so completely different from the places we've lived before, the people are different, or that the culture is different...but it's not home. Our house, I guess you could say, is home... It's decorated the way I like, has all the things we need, and we're going to bring our baby here in a few months. But it's still not really home.

So what exactly is it that makes a place, home? I'm not sure... And I have to wonder if I'll feel this way about the other places we move while Joe is in the Army. Will they all feel strange? Will I ever be able to feel like we are "home" when we're not living near family?

I guess this is just another one of those military family conundrums.

Do you feel like where you live is "home?" Or are you having the same problem I am?


14 comments:

Jes said...

we are lucky that we are from the same place and 90% of our family is in one place, Cincinnati. So that is "home" for us.

Becca said...

Good post! This conversation has come up a lot ever since our PCS from Ga to Wa. Washington doesn't feel like home AT ALL...Of course We have only been here 4.5 months so not enough time to really give it a fair shake. However, I don't think more time will help...It's just too differnt from what I'm used to. I lived in GA for 2.5 years and my husband lived there for 3.5 years. Like you, we shared A LOT there...Our first face to face meeting (we met over the internet) our first apartment, first Christmas, Thanksgiving, Anniversay, adopting 2 dogs and a cat and the list certinally goes on...I'm a southern girl through and through and I just miss it!! The sweet tea, soft accents, the SUNSHINE and even the heat (sometimes.) The south is home to me...I have lived in Tennessee, Georgia and in a few years hoping to get North Carolina...All of those places I have bonded with. I think the feeling of "home" definitely stems from a certain culture you connect with, sense of familiarity, memories and even climate... I have traveled A LOT and have lived in 9 different states during my life so I think I've pretty much nailed down what makes home, for me:) It's probably different for everyone though!

Jessica said...

We are definitely not at 'home' here in Japan! We are from Nebraska and I still call that home. My whole family lives in the same town, my husband's family lives about an hour away from there, so it was awesome! Where we are now, sure our apartment is nice, the base is nice. But when you can't communicate with people in restaurants or stores, it just doesn't feel like home. I know the saying "home is where your heart is" or the ever popular "home is where the Air Force sends you", but honestly, I don't feel at home here. I hope wherever we move next it will be more homey!

Rebekah said...

I feel like I could have written this! California is our home but Oklahoma will always be our real home, no matter where life takes us. CA is very different but it's just us and our little life. It doesn't always feel like home and now with Dylan deploying I'm worried about it not feeling like home but I know it will be fine. It's strange to think that this is our life and that our home doesn't always feel like home

Jane said...

I'm definitely going through the same thing. I've been in Hawaii a year as of a couple weeks ago, and I love it here, I really do, but it doesn't really feel like home. I still feel a little out of place. I'm not exactly sure why. It's weird.

Lindsay @ Tails to Tell said...

You have completely just voiced some of the things I've been thinking about a lot lately. With the holidays and all, I've been feeling ridiculously homesick and down in the dumps about being here. Even though I've lived in Hawaii for 2 years now, it's NOT home. I think I've decided that my definition of home is a place similar in geography to where I grew up and, most importantly, within easy driving distance of my family. To me, family makes a home, and even though the hubby and I are our own little family, it's not enough to make this place REALLY feel like "home." You are not alone in feeling this way. It's a strange feeling trying to create your own "home."

Tami said...

It's funny that you should write about this because I was just talking to my hubby about this the other day. We were stationed in NC for 8 years before moving overseas. Since we left there, I haven't felt at home. Granted we are overseas and it's a bit harder to get adjusted but I'm doing my best to make this feel like home since I know we will be here for a while. It's hard sometimes, isn't it?

Expat Girl said...

I was nodding my head agreeing to everything you just wrote! Obviously I am not even from America but both duty stations before now have really felt like home when we have been there but this one? Not so much! I am not sure exactly what is missing as we have family and friends here but I think Mr Soldier and I both know this will never be home and we will be glad for the next PCS!

Bonnie said...

My grams always says "Home is where the dirty laundry is." And i always say, "well isn't that comforting?" hahaha Germany didn't feel like home, but I did love it for the most part and wish we could go back (especially when my almost 5 year old asks to go back "home" because that's all he's ever known). Husband and I met while we were both stationed at Fort Benning and I hated every waking moment of being there... as the soldier and the spouse. I just did not like that part of GA at all... and now we're in WA. This place feels like home. We really love it here... but it would be so much better if we had family closer then California, Texas and Florida.

Jen said...

We thankfully feel like NC is home. When we go back to Vegas it just doesn't feel like home anymore. We have made a wonderful life here in NC and it's great :)

Chantal said...

For me, it's definitely where my husband is. We've lived in a lot of places and as long as he's there, I feel comfortable.

Heather said...

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HeatherVonsj@gmail.com

JG said...

You know me, Oklahoma is always "home." :) But I have to say, El Paso is feeling more and more like home. Once we have a church, I know the puzzle will be complete.

Tabitha said...

I've been reading your blog for awhile now, and this one really hit me. I definately don't feel like our current base is home, I've only lived in the south my entire life and now we are living in El Paso. It feels like a different country at times, its such a different world. And I feel completely secluded from my family, I'm high risk pregnancy so I can't even fly home to visit. We just got offered base housing, and I'm dragging my feet about it because I really don't want this to become home. My apartment feels very temporary, like maybe we will get to PCS soon. I'm thankful to be with my husband, but I wish it was the east coast.