Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Family Home (05/29/08)
TITLE: Where's Your Heart?
By Joy Bach
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901 S. Rural Street
22 West Street
714 Cottonwood Street
723 Sunnyslope Street
And then I turned 17 and married.
Three moves later, our first daughter, Dawn, was born. We brought her home to a metal Quonset hut provided by the college.
When Dawn’s father became a pastor, our next home was in the back of the church. On Sunday mornings, our bedrooms became Sunday School classrooms. Dawn’s bedroom had little benches in it…and her toys became the property of the church kids on Sunday.
But something went wrong, and we were given until sundown to get out of town. Our things were loaded on a farm truck and hauled to my mother’s house. Our home became her front bedroom, with a path through the storage boxes. My husband, daughter and I slept in the one bed.
After a brief move to another city, we ended up back in that front bedroom. By then I was pregnant again. The bed was crowded.
In my eighth month, we moved to Texas. Lyn was born in August. Before her first birthday, I was pregnant again. In my eighth month, we moved to Oklahoma. Rene’ joined us in that parsonage.
It was hard for my heart to keep up with my homes.
About the time I would get curtains made and begin to feel at home, we would move again.
We had a lovely home in North Carolina. Hardwood floors. Wooded lot. Little stream in the back yard. I thought I was home for sure.
We were there less than a year.
Maryland was next. One of my neighbors was my brother and his family. I knew for sure I was home.
Less than a year later, we were headed for Oklahoma again.
For awhile, we lived in a motel. It’s hard to make curtains and feel at home there.
After two more moves in Oklahoma, it was time to try Nebraska. I had never lived in such a huge house. A basement and an upstairs. Front and back stairways. I hadn’t even completed the unpacking before we moved to a different house.
My heart was getting tired.
One more move and then he was gone. I was a single parent.
I didn’t want my children to have to move continuously any more. But we needed to settle in a different town to get away from the gossip running rampant in that small town.
Idaho was my choice to start over. Our first home was a one-bedroom apartment, almost exactly like the one I had started in years before. In the one bedroom we had two bunk beds. That way each one of us had our own space, small as it was.
Money was scarce. We ate on a card table. But this is when the “home” part started to kick in. Curtains were made. Games were played. Popcorn was eaten. Books were read. Walks were taken. My heart was definitely here.
I obtained a job at the college…which offered housing. Our next move was to a two-bedroom duplex. I had the girls draw straws to see which one got the short one and had to share a room with me. But they didn’t have to change schools for this move. We just had more space.
And then the school offered me an actual house…complete with basement and upstairs. We each had our own bedroom. Once again, the girls didn’t have to change schools.
I was home for sure!
I promised them NO MORE MOVES.
I certainly meant it when I said it.
My job skills had improved so much that I could begin to earn a livable wage. But that would entail moving to the next town 22 miles away. Dawn was ready to graduate from high school, so it really wouldn’t affect her. But I hated to move the other two. I wavered back and forth. It was a tough decision. We had now lived in the same school district for five years. The girls had actually been able to make some friends.
Move again? As hard as it was, I decided yes. And life went on.
I have now lived in my current home for 14 years. But moving again would not be an issue. The house is not the home. In all my many moves, I learned a huge lesson. My home is where my family is.
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