Finding Home

Jul 8, 2005

I’ve been thinking about moving. Actually, I’ve been thinking about moving for a long, long time. It’s difficult to describe the reasons. I talk about my preference for trees and rolling hillsides. I speak unfavorably about the ragged streets and cramped surroundings of Baltimore, my current city of residence. But these things don’t really catch my wants and desires. What may come closer is my personal feeling of belonging.

I don’t belong here. I belong over there.

“Here” is easy to describe. My little suburb of Glen Burnie isn’t bad. It’s relatively clean. My neighborhood is quaint and workable for my purposes. You can, quite literally, get to anything in 5 minutes from my current home. That includes 4 parks, 3 movie theaters, probably 10 shopping centers, 3 malls, and bajillion restaurants. If you are looking for any of those things, my current home is definitely the place to be.

Still, it pains me to say that the best thing about my current abode is that it is reasonably close to the place I work. My 1/2 hour commute is convenient, and that convenience was and is a driving factor in the location of my current house. I’d add that my home is also close to family, if that were as true as it was 5 years ago. My sister recently moved to Virginia and one of my brothers has been West of the Mississippi for a long, long time. My wife’s family has spent the past couple of years migrating West and North, to the foothills of Pennslyvania. There are a couple of exceptions — both my wife and I have a set of parents and a single sibling close by — but our families just aren’t as close by as they used to be.

The “over there” part of the equation is more difficult to explain and requires a little bit of history to understand. While I’m fond of saying that I grew up in Westminister, a town found a bit to the left of Baltimore on a map, that statement is only partially true. I did a bit of growing up in both Westminster and Baltimore. I made it to fourth grade before heading towards the suburbs in the East. I spent my young childhood in Westminister. I did a whole lot of actual growing near the city that the Orioles call home. My roots feel a little bit country but my branches have city written all over them.

It’s an interesting dichotomy that I wrestle with. While it feels that I’ve lived in Baltimore nearly all my life, sometimes I don’t really feel at home. I feel at home when I chase my dog around the yard of my father in Westminister. I feel at home when I’m hunting rats from a perch in second story of my brother-in-law’s barn in Hanover.

Home, apparently, is truly where the heart is and, more than occasionally, I have trouble finding that feeling on my own front doorstep.

Suddenly, my wife and I have resolved to fix that little problem.

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One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Shirley
    July 27th, 2005 at 6:50 pm #

    Beautifully discribed from deep within…so well spoken…don’t care what anyone else thinks…in ’86 I bought this lot, had just met your Dad, but went forward..but now after 17 yrs I’ve completed a dream I wanted & did totally conquer this wild place & only have a few yrs of mortgage, BUT, am looking to STOP this hard work..Expect a change coming, Shirley

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