I am different from other people.
I often realize that when I hear them say things that completely baffle me.
After her home was devastated by Sandy one elderly woman told a reporter that she would rebuild, despite the misgivings of her family, and declared, “They will take me out of here in a box!”
I don’t understand that attachment to a building, to walls and windows, to wood and stone.
Oh, sure, I understand the sentimental attachment we have to things of the past that belonged to people we love. I’m all about remembering and appreciating the past. I have some of my grandparents’ things and some of my Mom’s and I love to look at them and remember good times. But my memories are the most important part of that experience, not the things themselves.
There are things I currently own that I would not like to lose and would not be able to easily replace. But like anyone else I would be able to cope if I had to do so. We all realize that we are more important than the things we own.
What I do not understand is an emotional attachment to a house. I enjoy the home we have now. I am comfortable in it. I certainly love the location. But I have no experience with a strong emotional attachment to a building. I suppose the fact that I have moved 51 times makes that impossible for me to comprehend. I have never lived anywhere with the expectation that I would always be there, or that I would leave it only in a box. I do not even expect to be here in this home for the rest of my life. I’m sure there will be changes in my future that I do not anticipate. Such is life…or at least mine.
I have only known one person who was born and died while living in the same house, and that was one of Gary’s cousins. He could show you the room in which he was born and he lived over 80 years within the same walls. I found that amazing, yet sad. It gave me an almost claustrophobic feeling to even think about it.
I have certainly had some favorites among the homes we have lived in over the years. A few of them are pictured here. And I have also thanked God that we moved from some of them when we did. The second home that we bought in CA is a prime example. Just months after we sold it the city put a bus stop in front of it. I can only imagine how that would have changed our life and affected our children! We lived in an apartment for a while and the very day after we moved we watched a news report about our neighbors who were involved in an argument that ended in the death of one of them. So glad we didn’t stay long enough to be witnesses or victims!
I don’t know what the future holds or how many times I will move before I die. But I do know that each place I have lived has contributed something to my experience and I am thankful for most of what I have learned from being a gypsy. The best part of changing houses from time to time is meeting new people, and I have had the privilege of meeting some wonderful ones! Yes, moving also means leaving people behind, but I have not lost touch with very many over the years. People are the things we should treasure. Family and friends are what we should fight to keep, not walls and windows.
(You will notice that none of these photos are very good! That’s because it seldom occurred to me to take picture a picture of a house for more than “documentation” that we lived there.)