Home. Again and Again.

Where are you from? Where is “home”? Is home where you grew up as a child? Is it where you graduated high school? Where you got married? Is home where you live now? Well, for me and many military brats, yes, to all of the above. We’ve had many homes and even a few hometowns.

I’ve thought alot about home lately, since, well, since we’ve all been restricted to our current homes. My current home is in my sons’ hometown, where I’m fortunate that one of them still lives nearby, nearby enough to see him and his family often now that covid restrictions are loosening. The other son, in the military, lives far away. As does my own father. As do a few brothers.

I took a survey many years back, I forget for who or why, but the results were pretty amusing. The survey asked you to list what town you lived in, at age 7 year intervals, ie, from birth to adulthood. For me, this survey looked like this :

Birth : Calgary, Alberta

age 7 : Calgary, Alberta

age 14 : Yorkton, Saskatchewan

age 21 : Edmonton, Alberta

age 28 : Winnipeg, Manitoba

I guess the survey was for marketing purposes, because after submitting my results, I started to receive literature and flyers for companies and businesses from the Canadian West, things like subscription requests to “Prairie Life”-type things. Of course, when I did the survey I lived in Quebec. (Still do.)

Now, if the survey had asked for where I’d lived at age 5 intervals, the results would have looked like this :

birth : Calgary (same start)

age 5 : Kingston, Ontario

age 10 : Unna, Germany

age 15 : Petawawa, Ontario

age 20 : Edmonton, Alberta (hey! same as above)

age 25 : Kingston, Ontario

Somewhat different life path, wouldn’t you say? But both results are true, and they both don’t tell the full story of my hometowns. Statistics and sampling perform wonderful functions, but maybe this survey reminded me to be cautious, and to get the full story sometimes and not just look at a subset of data.

In the meantime, I’ve learned to answer “Where are you from?” with my own answer: “My home is now in Aylmer, Quebec.” If they want to know where I was born, or lived as a child, or where I graduated high school, or went to university, well, they’ll get a different answer for each one.

Want more stories? Check out my memoirs, full of them : Camp Follower One Army Brat’s Story and First We Eat. Food, Life, and More Stories.

7 thoughts on “Home. Again and Again.

  1. It’s funny, to me home is one of three locations. I live in Sooke, BC (now) so that is home. My parents live in Waterloo, On so that is home even though I never lived there except for a brief stint while attending college. Aylmer, ON is home because that is where many of my relatives are from and where I spent many happy summers (I never lived there either).

      1. Hi Stevie, your book arrived today! My daughter ordered it for me from.Amazon! Looking forward to reading your Brat experiences!

  2. Birth: Salt Lake City, Utah
    7yrs: Ft Monroe, VA
    14: Novato, CA
    21: SLC, UT
    28: Memphis, TN
    35: California, MD
    42: Orlando, FL
    49: Pensacola, FL
    And have been here since then. I’m 72 now. I didn’t get to mention Regensburg, Germany, Stuttgart, Germany, Richmond, VA, Baltimore, MD, Castro Valley, CA, Tokyo, Japan, Corte Madera, CA, Magna, UT, Ogden, UT, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, Oak Harbor, WA. Dad and husband career mil. But can’t really pick a place I’d call home any more…

  3. Weii born in PITTSBURGH, but also Columbus , Ohio. , PITTSBURGH again, Dover PT., N.H., Portsmouth NH, Elliot ,Me, Please AFB,NH, PITTSBURGH, PA, WILDENRATH, Germany, Frankfurt, Germany, Pittsburgh,Pa, Ben Avon, Pa, Emsworth, Pa, Ross Township, Pa, Ellenton, FL Bradenton, FL, Key Largo, FL Charlotte, NC , Bradenton,FL.

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