Brenda and I just returned from a few days in the North Carolina mountains, specifically, Asheville, North Carolina and the surrounding area. I had never been to that part of the state before. I have spent many summer vacations at the beach there, and a couple of visits to the Outer Banks. My parents even lived in the eastern part for a few years. We fell in love with the place.
Our trip there was a journey of sorts, an adventure and a fact finding mission. We have heard for quite some time from people that we know that Asheville is a great place to live. Lots of local art, natural surroundings, and eclectic and fun. We found it to be that, and so much more. We found it to be a place that in two years, we could easily call home.
In two years, my daughter will be off into the world, having graduated from high school, and preparing for the next phase of her life. We feel ready, albeit scary to think about, to move to a warmer location. We have been on the lookout for places that seem to best fit who we are and where we want to be in the world. A place that feels like home to both of us.
I am a wanderer by nature, having little difficulty in moving to a new area and starting again. As children, we did it a few times, and although there were challenges at first to getting to know new people, it always was a great change. As an adult, I have moved many times, including out of state twice, and then returning to where I live now. I have called many places home over my lifetime so far.
So, where is Home to any one of us? I have considered my home to be West Brookfield, Massachusetts, where I spent a few years of my young childhood, and where I spent many a summer vacation with my grandparents, and later on, weekends with my aunt. Then, I considered Keene, New Hampshire to be my home, where I attended school for seven years, and had many friends. It is the area that I left to go away to college, and came back to visit for years.
Then, I came to college, here in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and built a beautiful life here after I graduated. I came out, I made many friends, had relationships, and had my beautiful daughter. Scranton, most recently, has been my home, and actually, has been my home for the longest period of my life. I have been here for 34 years. Even though Brenda was born and raised here, it ends up we have been here for the same amount of time, calling this place home.
I firmly believe that home is wherever we land, and make our own. My parents have definitely modeled this for me in my lifetime, each time we moved or started somewhere new, and in their later life, every time they did the same. There have been times when a place has called to me, and where I feel at peace, understood, and comfortable. Asheville is one of those places. It is country, and city, and I felt like I could make a home there easily.
Leaving here, wherever we go next, will be filled with mixed emotions. Yet, to know that we will be embarking on our new phase of life, together, and building something beautiful, makes it all worthwhile.