home is where you hang yer hat!

I was reading the blog of a friend yesterday.


In her post she was mentioning having come from a very small place that no one has ever heard of and the difficulty of trying to explain where you are from when you aren’t from a place that’s even on a lot of maps. I came from this same little place. I understand the difficulty she is describing. But, further muddying things for me is the fact that I moved around a lot growing up. So, perhaps I can explain to you where I came from, but first I have to decide where that was.

I was born in Canada, just across the border in a little tiny town by the name of Trail. But, we were only there in the hospital for five days and I’ve only been to Canada one other time for a weekend, so I don’t think that counts as “where I’m from.” Trail is hardly ever on any maps, either. However, oddly, I’ve seen it on some globes. It must be on a longitude line or something.

We actually lived in another little tiny town in NE Washington called Northport.  This town is just south of the border near Colville. (I know that doesn’t really mean much if you aren’t familiar with Washington’s geography, but it is on most maps.) We left Northport when I was about four to move to Santa Monica, California.

If you aren’t familiar with that one, it’s one of the cities that make up Los Angeles. It’s right on the beach. Not far from Beverly Hills  (90210). We lived there for about 8 years. I count it as one of the places that I’m from. Much of my family was, and is, there. I went to elementary school there.

When I was 12 we moved to Lake Tahoe. My Dad and grandparents lived there. I had also been spending summers there, with my dad, since I was very little. We didn’t live there very long, but having been there so much as a child and having moved back later, I count it, too.

Later that year, we moved back to Washington. This time we landed in Morton. Another small town that not many people have heard of. It is on maps, but why would you be looking for it? It is near Mt. Rainier, if that helps. We lived there until I was 18 and I moved out on my own back to Tahoe.

I feel like I’ve spent enough time in all of these places to qualify as “from” there. Yet, no one place is more qualified than another. Usually, I say “all over the west coast.” 

 “Oh, army brat, huh?”

“No, just moved around a lot.”

Apparently, my tribe is semi-nomadic.

I know people who lived in one place their entire childhood and they strongly identify with that place as home. They seem to never really feel comfortable other places. Well, maybe after a long, long time. Tahoe probably comes closest to that feeling for me.I don’t identify a place as home nearly so much. I attach my feelings of home to people. So that wherever they are is home to me.

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