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HOME


“Home” is a kind word; evocative of warmth, love, and a re-kindler of memories.  A “hometown” is the substantive place containng these things.

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.

 

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2 comments on “HOME

  1. I’m not from a military family but we moved 22 times before I turned 18. I had a family allright but never a family home.

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  2. Dearest Mama,

    Reading your entry on “Home” made me better understand why you made us the most incredible loving home any child could ever dream of. We always had a warm and cozy home with home made cookies in the jar and decorations on every holiday and games and toys and a mom who would sit for long times to paint, read and play with us. Our home was always warm and beautiful and filled with friends and parties and delicious food. You did all of this for us…and one would have thought that you had an incredible model to learn from but, oh it’s so like you, to be the creator of new ideas and activities! Thank you for showing Jan and I what it means to be a great mom. We’ve had a blast just trying to follow in your little footsteps and even though we may have missed many of the steps, we will always remember how very loved we were…and are. Love you so much,
    Cori

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