I'm a big fan of being portable.
I've had to move so much during my life that I understand how to prioritize important things from bullshit. Quite simply, I just ask "would this be really worth moving?"
So, I've shed a lot of stuff all over the place. I've given it away, I've burned it, thrown it all away, donated it. Whatever I've had to do to get rid of stuff, I've done it. And, to keep it from becoming a monumental task, I regularly go through everything I own and get rid of things. That's what I've been doing these past few days, as a matter of fact. I've thrown away a lot of stuff, but I've found some things that pulled on my heart.
I found a picture of my mother and my late dog, Sugar, in our old house in Michigan. As I looked at it, I remembered the day that I took it, and then further back, the day that I begged Mom and Dad to let me have her. Good stuff.
I found letters that my parents wrote me after they had moved South and I'd stayed in Michigan, too, and one from my father was particularly poignant:
Just a quick note from the "Empty Nest" to let you know how much I miss you. I've always missed you when I was away, but this is different. I knew that I could come "home" and see you. Now, if you can believe it, we're all "homeless". You're there in that apartment, I'm here in a motel, Mom's at Ashley's, Ashley lives in Machelle's house, and Scott lives in Tammy's and Granny's. I suddenly realized all this today. What a bunch of gypsies. Even the dogs are homeless. Think about it! I'm right you know.
My father spent most of his kids' lives away- all over the world. He missed most of our childhoods in fact, and the time when he was there was often like a war. He wanted to run his family the way he ran his job, it seemed, and it caused endless problems. We kids didn't have much respect for his "authority" because he was never there- Mom was the authority, the go-to, the be-all end-all. He was just passing through. And none of us much appreciated it when he came in and tried to change absolutely everything to suit him, and we sure didn't like it when he would forcibly do so.
Honestly, as much as we moved around, I've never had a home so much as I had a dream of one and the reality that home was where ever my mother was. It's never been about a house for any of us- it's been about what's in a place. My home is Michigan, where I was deeply loved and where I loved deeply in return. My home is this place that I come to get away from the world. And my home is my mother. More than that, I can't see where it would matter.
So, while we are all scattered to the four winds, home is whatever we make it, and it's a lovely dream that comes in a deep and cozy sleep. And it leaves a smile on your face, awake or dreaming.