When people find out we are new to the area, their first question is always “Where are you from?” Normally this wouldn’t be a difficult question, but military life is very nomadic. This makes the question harder to answer without completely confusing whoever asked us.
I usually have to lay out our entire history in a few minutes just so they can understand. Even then it can be overwhelming for civilians, which to be honest, is understandable. Then we will get one of two reactions; a blank stare or a look of “Woah, that’s intense.”
We were born and raised in Maryland. Which means we are Old Bay eating, crab loving, singing “OH” during the national anthem Marylanders who love our home state. Then we started this life of constant relocation and it changed everything. I always thought that I would move around and yearn for time back in my home state but I started to fall in love with these different places which was so confusing to me. I felt like I was betraying my roots and I shouldn’t love these places nearly as much. It took me a long time to realize that moving around could be amazing. I could let myself love and appreciate each new home for all of the things God gave us when we lived there. He has continuously blessed us in each place with exactly what we needed at that time.
When we moved to Cohasset, on the south shore of Boston, it was my first time not living at home. Dean and I waited to move in together until we were married and after he left for bootcamp. So for the first couple months of married life I was still in my parents house. Our first move was a big adjustment for me so I was constantly praying for God to bring me company, friendships, a church etc. He answered this in a huge way by leading us to a church where the youth pastor and his wife became incredible friends of ours. When I moved to Holly Springs, outside of Raleigh North Carolina, to be with friends while Dean was at training school God placed two jobs right in my lap. Jobs that came with friends and family who were an amazing support system while Dean was gone. This group of people filled my life with Jesus and encouragement in a time I was desperate to soak that in.
I never expected these places. I never knew you could love a town, or a city or miss everything that comes with it. Miss a cup of coffee that you can’t get anywhere else, or a drive down a beach covered in snow, a table surrounded by family laughing and picking crabs, a dish from a restaurant you don’t have the luxury of stopping in whenever you have a craving for steak tips or a smore in a jar. These are things you don’t know you will miss because you’ve never had to miss them when you live in one place. These are things that make your home a home.
This is why answering the question “Where are you from?” is so difficult. So many places become home that really none of them are. You start to realize that home is your husband, and your dogs, and soon your children. Home is your telephone because it connects you to the places you no longer can love close up.
A lot of the time this is a frustrating situation because starting over means your new place isn’t home yet. I always have trouble initially because leaving the people and the places I love is incredibly hard for me. I am someone who will invest my whole self where we live and that is SO HARD. I love people so fiercely that when I leave I feel an ache in my heart that can be overwhelming. Loving Jesus gives me the ability to have that ache because it means that I am lucky enough to have so many people in my life to love. So many amazing memories with people who become family. I treasure these people and as hard as it is to lose everything you have, God gives our family the ability to have it multiple times and to grow our family in a way most people can’t. For that I will call my family blessed.