Home is wherever we are if there's love here too

11.14.21

When we got back from Seattle, I posted on Facebook, "Be it ever so humble . . ." Of course, the rest of that line in the poem, Home, Sweet Home by John Howard Payne, is “there's no place like home.”

After a week in rainy Seattle, it was good to get back home to Colorado. It occurred to me, though, that this sentiment could be interpreted as running counter to our plan to move to Europe. Why would we want to leave if home was so great?

Our decision to look into moving overseas was not based on a belief that the States sucked. America is a great place in a lot of ways, though there are some notable elements that could stand some updating. Admittedly, when we first started considering the move, we had some serious motivation to get out of the country.

A large portion of America continues to hold on to unfair and outdated notions concerning racial and gender equality. Its adulation of the ‘rich and famous’ is juvenile at best, and nausea-inducing, and even deadly, at its worst. Its legislative system can be glacial, although other countries complain about their own inertial governments, as well.

The political climate that was initially pushing us out has, thankfully, eased up a bit, but the desperate need for updating remains.

The United States remains the only developed nation without some form of universal healthcare, and instead persists in having an expensive, for-profit healthcare system. Because of this, our “golden years” are bound to be expensive if we stay here. If we were rich, that probably wouldn’t be a problem, and with twelve novels published so far, I should be rich, but that’s a different issue. (And I realize that this statement could be seen as contradicting my earlier lamentations about America’s worshipful admiration of the rich and famous. I’m a complex, many-faceted individual!)

But back to the subject of ‘home.’ I’ve written before about how my personal concept of hearth and home differs from a lot of people’s. Being estranged from past friends and family, my notion of home has little to do with where I am. I’ve also written about how I haven’t gotten overly-attached to particular houses. It’s just a structure, after all.

Linda, on the other hand, is a very sentimental person. She has formed an emotional bond with every house she has lived in, and even with the rental condo that we just recently sold. Granted, we had originally hoped that that place could be a home for us in our later years. Thanks again to the greed-based capitalist system in America, and the ridiculously high HOA fees, that notion has been dashed.

But still, the health issue remains. At the risk of taunting fate, both of Linda’s parents have some form of dementia. A couple of my relatives had long, drawn-out battles with cancer. America’s healthcare system could bankrupt us.

And I haven’t even touched, yet, on our fervent desire to see the world! We want to travel, and economically, it just makes sense for us to have a home base that is, not only in a place that we love, but that is closer to the places we want to visit.

Linda was born and raised in Littleton, Colorado, and she says that Colorado will always be her home, and I can respect that. I’ve been here for almost thirty-eight years, so I have some warm feelings connected to the area as well.

But I believe that home can change. We’ve both lived in a lot of places, and for most of them, we considered them home while we were there. As the saying goes, “Home is where the heart is.” My heart belongs to Linda, so my home is wherever she happens to be.

Until we make the move, this is home, and when we make temporary visits to other places, it’s nice to get back to it, back into familiar rooms and routines. But I’m really looking forward to going to new places with the intent to make a new home, new rooms and routines.