A few months after my family moved to Washington, I was pulled over for speeding. The police officer asked all the normal questions. “Do you know why I stopped you?” (I actually have no clue …) “Do you realize how fast you were going?” (I’m guessing too fast?) “May I see your license and registration?” (If you must …)
And then, staring at my Washington registration and my Connecticut license, he asked a question that threw me completely off guard.
“So … where are you from?”
Excuse me? (I actually said that one out loud.)
“Ma’am, where are you FROM? What’s your home of record?”
I stumbled through the rest of the traffic stop. I mumbled something about military life and paying taxes in Connecticut and then drove away with a $125 ticket and a bit of a personal crisis. Where am I from?
I was born up north but was raised and graduated from high school down south. I moved away when I was 18, came back a year later, and left again for good at 21. Since then I have lived in Georgia, Florida, Connecticut, and now Washington. I lived in Arkansas the longest, but I haven’t spent more than a few days at a time there since I left in 1998. Am I still an Arkansan? A Floridian? No; our stint there lasted just months. A Georgian? Maybe. We lived there quite a while and loved every moment of it. A Connecticuter? (Nutmegger? Connecticutian? Who are you people?!? …) Could be. We lived there quite a while. I really felt like we had set down roots there. I do still miss Rotten Groton, but since we moved, I don’t really think of Connecticut as “home.” And if you want to get
stupid really technical, I’ve been with Josh longer than I’ve lived at any of our duty stations, so am I really a New Yorker by marriage?
If you don’t have real roots anywhere, where are you really “from”?
One of my favorite parts of being a military spouse is experiencing life in many different places and home ports! From the sandy beaches of southeast Georgia to the cold, snowy winters in Connecticut and the rocky beauty of the Washington shoreline, I have loved them all. I feel so lucky to have lived so many places and having thrived (most of the time) in each one!
Do I have permanent roots anywhere? Well, no. I’m not an Arkansan anymore nor a Georgian. I’m a child of the world, a travelling heart, or perhaps more simply put, I’m a Proud Navy Wife. My roots are in my husband and my family. Wherever we wander is where I will call home. Wherever the orders designate, wherever the moving trucks drop off our boxes, wherever there is an FRG roster with MY NAME on it, I will call that home.
So where I am “from”? Where are my roots? I guess I can best be described as an Arka-geor-fla-con-ingtonian … at least until the Navy decides it send us on one more root-seeking adventure!