Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Home (01/09/06)
TITLE: The Term Home Relative Thing
By Annette Agnello
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I finished High School and entered college my dorm room was home as soon as I got there. My home, not my parents home, mine. But that room which was my home only lasted for my freshman year.
Summer came and I went home to my parent's home. All my old friends were scattered after high school graduation and I was lonely, I wanted to go back to college to my new home. I was going to be better than the year before I was rooming with a friend I had met there. It started out fine but there were problems our next door neighbors had a very powerful stereo and the same room they put the speakers in the top of their closet which had a thin wall it shared with our closet. So when they played their music loud we got it against our wills. They seemed only to have two albums, if I never hear "Grandma's Feather Bed" or "Disco Duck" again it will suit me just fine. When it was quiet or music or our choosing a reasonable volume it was our home, with the music blaring it was ours.
For the rest of the time I was in school I went year round with summer school in between regular sessions. The first summer I lived in a forth floor walk up, which really got to be a challenge after I broke my foot. Another problem was an alcoholic roommate. I lived there but didn't really feel at home.
The next regular session I lived with a stranger, my friends were scattered in several different buildings and I spent a lot of time in the church's student center. That had begun to become my home that summer, though I never lived there. For the rest of the time I was in college living in several different places the homey little church house was home but my stuff and bed was always another place.
I graduated, and was back at home with my parents, their home, just a place for me to sleep. Till I got a job as the resident manager of the Woman's Shelter, which was the first place I lived where I had to do my own shopping and fix my meals. It was an awful place and difficult work. I was having, to take care of the women who were they're running from the men who abused them. Some were wonderful women were there, some were shrews as well. That was a home tied to my job, when the management changed the working conditions that were unacceptable and the home went away with the end of the job.
For the next several years I was living with my parents again but it was a long-term thing and did become my home again in time. Over a series of six jobs in ten years time, sometimes working as many as three jobs at one time, having lived away and now with my own car and job, paying my own bills, my parents looked at me differently so it could become my home. It continued to be my home till after my mother was in a nursing home and my dad died of cancer at home as he wished. When dad died I had to find a new place to live within a month. The house was in both parents' names and had to be sold to cover mother's continued residence in the nursing home.
I found an apartment and tried to salvage things that needed not to be left at home when it was sold. The apartment was never really home. While I lived there I became engaged I married and moved 160 miles away to my husband's home. It took a while for it to become my home because my father-in-law lives with us for a while it was a battle I was the interloper trying to make a home in his home. For a while I was afraid to leave because he kept threatening to throw my things away. Over time we settled in with each other and the place was finally able to become my home.
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