From Homebound to Home Bound

There is a reason I haven’t posted more details about my health-induced home search: I couldn’t get enough oxygen to type or think straight. But as I pack up for the final stage of a move to HOME, I find myself thinking of the runner-up and how shocked I (and my family) were that it didn’t work out.

January in New Hampshire went really well. I could breathe. I could walk. I could play in the snow. And work. I even felt like playing with my camera.

February back in Rocklin didn’t go well. I tried to keep up. But between poor air quality and neighbors creating smoke in various activities, I didn’t stand a chance. By mid-month my brain was jumbling words again and I could no longer take walks.

The big hope was March in Monterey. I’d been there for an extended stay before, in November, and found it therapeutic. But spring pollen and molds got the better of me. In a mere five days, my year-long photo project was cancelled. I was on my way to a lung infection and simple things — like getting dressed or making breakfast — would leave me breathless. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t read. And I was crushed. I had to return to Rocklin and my husband used the rest of my vacation rental for a working holiday.

Enter an unplanned April back in New Hampshire. With maple pollen spewing and black flies emerging, I explored the Lakes Region looking for trouble. I didn’t find any. By the end of the month, I was walking and thinking and reading and photographing. I even took the train to NYC and navigated the subway between Brooklyn and CUNY’s chapbook festival. No problem.

So in May we found a house. In June we closed the deal. In July we moved in stuff. And in August — in just a few hours — my son and I will begin the first phase of settling in: driving our car cross country in time to register him at his new school. At long last, September looks full of promise.

wish vs. reality wish vs. reality


quest(ion) 2013: HOME

HOME. It’s a Middle English word with Old English, Old Norse, and Old Germanic roots. It’s a word with a long list of meanings. It’s also a word that has consistently caused me angst, especially when filling in the “home town” blank on social media info pages. I have moved around quite a bit—not as much as military kids, but enough to make the concept problematic—and it always seems to me that to answer the question with one place denies the experience and friends of another place.

In a fortnight, I will embark on a year-long quest to answer the question: What is home? This is a personal journey (I would never presume to attempt tackling this in any universal sense) made necessary by a health crisis set off by my well-intentioned purchase of a memory-foam mattress 18 months ago. But more about that in the coming year. Right now I have to focus on packing for the first leg of this journey: six weeks in rural New Hampshire, beginning on Christmas Eve.

my January 2013 reading stack