But a military family often has many “hometowns”. I had a different one nearly every year; some of which are remembered more kindly than others.
For instance, I have no warm memories of San Diego, where 2 six year old boys kidnapped my four year self and thrust me down to the bottom of a ravine where the San Diego zoo is now located. The only good to come of that episode is that I learned early on to distrust six year old boys. I also have no fuzzy thoughts regarding the same city at the ago of 8, when I was often the butt of ridicule because of my old-fashioned braids. (Probably the real reason I changed my name to “Elsie” during that year, figuring it wasn’t really “me” they were bullying.)
Connecticut was fun, living in the country for the first time. Oregon felt pretty good, possibly because it had been my father’s hometown, and there were still relatives living in Grants Pass as well. But it only lasted for about 10 months, so I can’t consider it MY hometown.
Grandma’s in Long Beach was comforting and warm, and it was my home longer than most, but I felt quite at home at Auntie’s too, plus there were more books to read, and I could eat cake for breakfast. But neither were my “hometown.” (Though when I returned to see Auntie’s old home many years later, I cried when I saw it had been changed beyond recognition. How dare someone destroy my memories?)
Finally, in the waning days of WW11, we moved to Alameda. Living in the old Victorian home my Sweetland great-grandfather built, I felt I had sent down some roots.
I think this is the true meaning of having a hometown. There were relatives all around as well, and listening to stories of my father as a young boy made it seem as if I were the next link in the chain.
So yes, Alameda is my “hometown”, and I still love it.