Home. What does that word mean to you?
Is it the place where you lay your head each night? Is it the property that your mortgage pays off each month? Does it invoke an emotion inside you whenever you think of home? Where would you make your home if you could choose anywhere in the world? Is it the address you type into Google maps to see if you can see your car in the driveway or even see yourself? Is home where your heart is?
For me, home is wherever I say it is!! It’s wherever we are renting this year. Whatever suburb or community we are calling our own at any given time. It’s wherever we drag the family to next. And after that….and after that……
For my friend Clark “Home is wherever we’re sleeping tonight”. Reading his post made me start to think of the main reasons why
that word will mean something else to us in 2012! It turns out he and I are thinking along the same lines!
So, inspired by Clark, here are my top 6 reasons that “Home” will mean something different to us in 2012.
1. We will have no pets! With four children, home normally entails one or more pets. Creatures to feed, walk, water and love. We have variously been the owners of cats, chickens, dogs, birds, fish and a collection of rocks that Jono collected and which generally ended up banging around in our clothes dryer in the dead of night! I don’t miss the pets at all but I know the kids miss our last dog Max. Hopefully somewhere in the world that we housesit will have a dog that needs loving or perhaps a cheap hostel might have a resident cat to sleep on someone’s bed (OK – I admit it – I miss our cat Elvis and I want the hostel cat on MY bed!)
2. We will have no fixed address. Do you know how wierd it is to have no fixed address? No definite place to tell the world “this is my home”. I recently bought a raffle ticket in a big draw (still fantasizing about winning that baby!) and I had to think about which address to put on the ticket. Do I put our old address that now has a 14 month mail redirection to my friend’s house? Or do I put her actual address and save time getting the news of the winning ticket to me? I told the woman I was homeless and I could see her wondering what I meant! The phrase “no fixed address” calls to mind for me stories in the local paper of all the people who appeared in court that week!
3. Special family events will be celebrated in random places. Kate’s birthday will be the first event to be celebrated overseas. We usually go out for dinner and let the birthday person choose the kind of cake. Where will we go for birthdays if we don’t have our favourite local haunts? How will we make sure that the birthday cake is a good one when we’ve bought it from the local cake shop in Thailand that we’ve never visited before? Do asian cakes even taste the same as ours? Kate was the most reluctant when the life changing year idea was first thrown around. I want her to enjoy her birthday abroad – mostly so I can say “I told you so!”
And then there is Australia Day, Easter, ANZAC day and Christmas. Will these celebrations be the same once we are holed up in a housestay in Cambodia? Or freezing our bums off in New York? 2012 will indeed be a different experience of all the special events in our year that we normally celebrate at home.
4. We will have no income! No paycheck. No play-money. No regular top-up for us to fritter away. Besides a little bit of bank interest each month, there will be no fall-back for that week where we go a little crazy and eat out every single night. Men especially, seem to identify quite a bit with their job and income. How will Gert cope? How will it feel once we don’t have an income? I imagine it will be really wierd to not have that little envelope fall into our hands each month. That little piece of paper that means the new stash has landed in our account and it’s time to get to work on spending it! Maybe we’ll be so busy road-tripping that we won’t notice!
5. Besides on facebook, we won’t see our friends for a whole year! How wierd. The people we know and love will be such a long way away. Of course we will keep in touch and if our friends move house we will still be able to find them when we return – Zuckerberg has taken care of that for us! But it may not be the same. My cousin and his wife had a baby this week. Now we won’t be home for the year to see bubby grow and learn. Only time will tell how not being with our friends affects our thoughts of home.
6. Our photo albums will remain in Australia in storage. Please, please don’t let them be destroyed!! These are the only things I will miss if fire wipes out the storage shed. I’ve backed up what I can, but there are many images which are not digital and for which there are no negatives. I can’t imagine returning “home” and not having those familiar pages to pour over. Baby photos of the kids are especially dear to me and can never be replaced. Plus I’m getting old. I need those pics to remind me about what they all looked like. I already have trouble telling Britt and Kate apart in some of the photos….oh dear…earth mother at work again….!
So that’s my list. All the things that will be different and that will impact what we knew as “home”.
As long as we are all together, I think we’ll be just fine!
This post was meant to be part of a 30 day project being run by bootsnall.com. I kind of got sidetracked but now I’m catching up because it was such a good idea and I can’t bear to leave it unfinished! Check back each day for my latest bout of rambling….