Well it is hard to describe my home. I can show you where I live now. That is not necessarily the same thing. I could show you where I lived yesterday or might live tomorrow but once again… what exactly is home ?
Is it where I hang my hat ? I have a collection of many hats so even that is hard to pinpoint exactly. I think maybe my home travels with me. Or perhaps it is me, morphing in background scenery as I morph through my various existences.
Some of us have very well defined homes. You can take the boy out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the boy. I was born on the Canadian prairie and raised on beef and potatoes. Living on the east coast and enjoying such delicacies as swordfish steaks I was warned by people back home that “no good would come of that”.
I migrated from a smallish city in the Canadian west to the bustling city of Chicago. I felt I was born to live in Chicago. I just fit right in and made it my home. I became a lifelong Cubs fan and still am. In fact I cheer for all the Chicago teams with the possible exception of the White Sox. I know how tough it is to be a fan in a city that sees few championships.
From there I was off to Fort Lauderdale. How did I acclimatize myself to this tropical locale when I grew up closer to permafrost than palm trees ? Well it did take me part of a day. I swore I would never live north of West Palm Beach again.
But life has its twists and turns and I found myself back in Canada again. I had spent 13 years calling Chicago home and another 7 in South Florida. In between I had a year in Atlanta.
10 years back in Canada and it was time once again to take my home along with me on a road trip. I bought a train pass that gave me 30 days of unlimited travel on Canada’s Via Rail as well as USA’s Amtrak. I crisscrossed both countries looking for another fit.
And I landed in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. I was 2 hours north of New York City which made Manhattan an easy place to visit any time. I was at the junction of the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River Valley and if I wasn’t exploring the city then I was hiking in the mountains. I would follow stream beds in search of waterfalls.
16 years in New York and I am back in Canada. I am living in the now mid sized city I was born and raised in. A city that has grown incredibly in the times I have been away. A city that has taken on a diversity and cosmopolitan nature that would make a New Yorker or a Chicagoan proud.
But I am still just hanging my hats where I happen to be. Where will I hang my hats next ? I have not lived everywhere… but it is on my list.