Why I live where I live right now is a long story. It begins with my father in the military and my family moving alot when I was a kid. We lived in military housing as it was assigned to us. Between posts, we lived with extended family - sleeping in a basement or a back room. As a result, my sister and I learned early that 'home' didn't mean a place. It meant the people around you - the family unit, itself. Then came the fateful day Dad retired from the military and we were free to go where we wanted - so long as Dad could find work.
My last semester of ninth grade, my father accepted a job in Redmond, WA. Nope. Not with Microsoft. With a company called Techtronix. He and my mother came up, found a house, bought it and then came back to pack up the kids and the cats. We drove north into the misty, green, Pacific Northwest. (You look into those mist enshrouded trees and tell me there couldn't be all kinds of elves, sprites and spooky creatures wandering around back there...)
Something inside me clicked. I recognized this place. It was the home I'd never known I'd had, much less had missed to that point. I've tried to leave. That lasted nine months. In the intervening years, there have been houses, college dorms, apartments, condos, and more houses. A marriage and a few abodes later, we gave it all up to live aboard a sailboat because this is our backyard and we wanted to test drive the cruising lifestyle.
With only a boat to call our own, the definition of 'home' has once again shifted away from a physical location (though the boat is awfully comfy, it does lack a few amenities). We define home now as anyplace we (the DH and I and the four cats) are all together. Everything after that is icing. We've begun to note that some icing is better than other icing, however, and there's discussion about selling this boat we love so much and moving back to a land base.
We're throwing it open to the Universe to tell us where that should be. I vote for Hawaii - but we'll see. I suspect we'll end up staying right here. In misty, green Seattle where we love the eclectic, occassionally nutty people, the mountains, the trees, the expressive sky, the ocean (!), and the fact that at any moment, Mother Nature could wipe most of Western Washington from the map with an enormous earthquake and huge tsunami. Oh. Wait...