Last weekend, I drove out of town and visited my sister and her family. A funny anecdote about my visit first: Sis gave me a birthday card during my visit, thinking the next day (September 3) would be my birthday. Actually it was a month earlier (August 3), and she seemed kind of surprised when I corrected her. Perhaps you could chalk it up to a big workload on her part or traveling this summer or something else I’m about to talk up, but Sis thought for sure my birthday was in September. At least she didn’t mind being corrected. “Just consider it a belated birthday wish,” she advised.
There was a reason for my visit, other than the obvious reason being seeing relations I haven’t had the chance to see in a while. Sis and her family had just finished relocating to a new home they had purchased. Pretty much everything they had were still in boxes when I visited, so their new house doesn’t yet feel like home. And those boxes may be occupied for a while because… well, their new home? Compared to what they left behind, it’s half the size. And their old home wasn’t all that big to begin with. But in finding this A-framed house in the middle of the woods, they saw a bit of potential. Well, the potential that comes with an expansion of the house, which they hope to commence with sometime soon (they don’t know when).
When touring their new home, I couldn’t help but think what Sis’s two daughters thought of moving. Sis said they were excited to move into the new place. “Oh, really?” I said incredulously. The house they left behind had been the only one they knew in their 16 and 14 years, and I imagine it felt to them like a well worn dress, if not a shelter from the storm that is juvenescence. “Oh, they might miss it after a while,” Sis couched in reply, to which I nodded in understanding.
I knew how both sides of that relocation coin have felt. Sis and I moved around quite a bit when we were growing up; the longest we stayed at one place before turning 18 was around 5 or 6 years. As a result, neither of us grew too attached to one place. Well, at least I didn’t. I’m not sure if youth or all that moving was why my sentimental bone wouldn’t be well developed until adulthood. For sure, that bone was fully grown when I left for Madison after 12 years in Green Bay and over 5½ years in the same apartment. Yeah, I admit I cried a little bit when I left that apartment for the last time. I was optimistic about Madison, but I was also felt sad about how it felt like home, more so than any other place I had lived in up to that point.
That feeling of home is what I have with not only Madison as a whole but the apartment I’ve lived in for the past 11+ years. But I have had a yearning to move into another place, in part due to the reason my sister’s family moved — despite its charm and its nice proximity to where I work, I think I’ve outgrown the place. Oh, sure, I’ve mentioned that I’d like to purchase a condo and perhaps pay less per month than the rent I’m paying right now ($865/month). But I’ve come around to the fact that I, my wardrobes, and the rest of my belongings need a lot of closet space, more than what this current apartment can provide.
Now, will I actually act on finding a new place, be it an apartment or a condominium? Well, that’s to be determined. When I first considered a condo at the beginning of this year, I still had a steady job, one I would have to exit at the end of June. Needless to say, finding a new place to call home is low on my priority list; keeping steady employment, even if it’s “temp-to-hire,” is Priority #1.
When I do decide to find a new place, and when I must turn in the keys to this apartment, I will in all likelihood feel more than a tinge of sadness when leaving this apartment. Despite its problems (it holds heat way too well) and inadequacies (the afforementioned closet space), it has been charming enough to be a real home for me, just as the home my sister’s family left behind was for them. And just as Sis hopes her new place will feel like home to her and her family in no time (after they add on to it, of course), I hope it’ll be the same for whatever place I wind up calling home in the future. Whenever that will be, of course.