There’s No Place Like It

Is your bag ready to load into the car?  

I’ll fill the water bottles. 

I’ll lock the doors. 

Let’s leave the porch lights on.

With a glance at the mountain and a prayer of gratitude for the beautiful home in which we get to live, we climb into the car, and off we go.

We have it down to a science.

We have it down to a science because we’ve had a lot of practice.

When we decided to embark on the adventure of building a rustic home in rural Washington, we sold our house, put everything we owned in storage, and began house-sitting. Because we both still worked we needed a base from which to operate, traveling to our new home on weekends and for more extended time whenever we were able. I’m not sure how we did it, but somehow every time we needed a new house to sit, another one would appear, and we would move in. We’d bring a few clothes, some kitchen items, our French Press coffee maker, and a picture of our family which we’d place on the kitchen counter, and, we were home. One home had avocado green appliances, gold shag carpeting, and a recliner in every room. Another sat near a train track, and the last one had too glass shelves with too many glass figurines that probably needed dusting. I chose to ignore them. Once the house sitting came to an end, we moved in with dear friends for a few months, and, under their roof, we were home. When it was time to move on, we moved our 1980s refurbished Airstream onto a friends property in the country, in the shadow of the former pig-barn. Barn owls would serenade us to sleep, and, in that old Airstream, next the the pig-barn, we were home. The time came to part ways with the Airstream, and we found our way to a small 325 sq. ft. flat, and in that tiny space, we were home. When the rent on the flat became ridiculously high, we decided to give airbnb a shot, and in each of those spaces, some good, some bad, and some downright ugly, we were home. Over the course of the last 10 years we’ve slept in more beds than we can count, but no matter where we crawl in, when we get to crawl in together, we are home. 

Today, we live in our home under the shadow of Mt. Adams full time. Except for all the times we don’t. Like this week, as we head out to hold grand babies, help daughters, and celebrate the life of a remarkable man who left us too soon. Tonight we will sleep on an air mattress in Portland, tomorrow night in a bed north of Seattle, and, we will be home. 

Living out of a suitcase isn’t always easy, and there is nowhere I’d rather lay my head than in our bed at home, and yet these past 10 years have taught me that home really isn’t a place. It’s where the heart is.