So what's it really all about? For me the thing I want most is home. I always thought my sister and I would be old ladies together, living in quaint, adjacent houses, planting gardens, having horses and sitting on the front porch shelling peas (which for some reason I can't quite remember I've always called "hucking") while gossiping without malice about the goings on in our universe. Interestingly enough, my sister wants that too. It's a life we were once able to take for granted (well, not the 'old' part so much), and neither of us has ever really felt at home since. The irony? We tried it once, and failed miserably due to unforeseen (and ghostly) circumstances. I wrote a book about this utter failure, and it may just be the proceeds from this book that gives us the opportunity to try again. Karma is a funny thing. Okay, sometimes Karma is funny in a way that's NOT so funny, but sometimes it has a twisted sense of humor that is legitimately laughable.
If anybody in this world deserves to have some good home-related Karma come their way, it's my sister and me. After we lost our original home, it has been one series of crazy events after another re: our housing. We have been through ghosts, ice storms, flooding out, rats, mice running over the silverware, irresponsible/uncooperative/unpredictable exes, flaky roommates, a tornado, people simply changing their minds about renting, near-misses around home ownership, homelessness (yes, twice), irrational land-people (I had one fellow tell me I couldn't have boys over. I was in my 20s), insane rules followed out of desperation, and generally a constant and unwavering sense of threat in one form or another around housing. Oh, and let me make clear that this was all due to no fault of ours.
If you will refer to the little chart above, you will see that shelter is relatively important, especially if you'd like to do something with your life besides worry about shelter. And hey, I don't know about you, but I totally would!! And it's looking like the day when having some real choice around this issue might be sooner than I originally anticipated. So what does home look like?
Well, first of all, see above re: old ladies hucking peas. That's part of it. Gardens, land, horses...that's part of it too. But what home really feels like is a place to call mine, to finally put down my roots again. Home means not being at the mercy of others for your most basic of needs, not ever having to worry or wonder if/when the rug will be ripped out from under you. That last is really hard to describe to those who haven't experienced it, but is perhaps the most compelling.
Home is a fenced yard for my dog, a porch to sit on and watch the rain, the smell of flowers and freshly-mowed grass. It's a sense of belonging that can't be threatened. It's everything.