We packed our bags, leaving behind our first house. I was 10 years old and was raised in Puyallup. Little did I know this would be the longest I’d be in one place.
We set out for Richland in eastern Washington. The house was nice, but the hot dry desert with its tumbleweeds, dust storms, and chemical leaks in the water causing skin irritation would make it hard to settle in, and we never did. On top of that my father became abusive towards the rest of the family. We packed our bags yet again and went to live in my mom’s parents home. We’ve been there many times before. It was a familiar place but living in her basement for a couple years was always in the back of our minds. We were long term guests, it wasn’t our home. It was my grandparents.
Eventually we got our own house – a temporary one with boxes piled to the ceiling in the garage. Things that we will open “once we get our real home.”
We never wanted to stay in California. It was just as hot and just as dry as the desert of Richland.
Five years later we moved back to Washington in Olympia in an apartment with what we could carry in our car. Me and my brother share a room and my mom and other brother share the other. With even less stuff we sit here promised to have everything one day.
As of right now we are searching for a house, but how long until we leave that one?
To me a home isn’t the place you live in but who you’re staying with. The family you are constantly traveling with, the (sometimes) group decisions on where to live,and the memories you make that aren’t necessarily in a single house but a congregation of all the memories in all houses.