This is a re-post from blog long ago and far away.
Just before Christmas it snowed in Connecticut. It was one of those beautiful, fluffy, toss-the-kids-in-their-snowsuits-and-then-in-a-snowdrift kind of snows. I followed along on Facebook from my comfy chair in Washington as all my friends there posted pictures of sledding and snowmen and rosy cheeked smiles, and my heart twisted.
“I miss the snow! I wish I was there with you!” I posted to my timeline.
“But I thought you hated snow!?!” a new Washington friend replied.
Her comment made me think. She wasn’t wrong. When it snowed here in Washington just a few weeks ago I grouched long and loud. I didn’t want the kids to miss school. I don’t like cleaning the puddles on the floor. I don’t like the slushy mess left behind when it inevitably begins raining on the same day as it snows. I’m really not a fan of snow. I’m kind of like the cranky teacher from the old Frosty the Snowman movie that says, “I like snow. I just want it to stay where it belongs, like in movies and in John Denver songs.”
I replied to my friend that the snow here is different. It really is, too. It’s wet and gloopy and not very fun. Then it rains making it into slush. Then it freezes overnight, and I am stuck in my house. Sounds fun, yes? NO! Connecticut snow is usually fluffy and light and fun for the kids to play. The snowplows there are phenomenal about taking care of the roads. Yay!
But last night, in a completely separate bout of homesickness, I realized something. I didn’t really like the snow in Connecticut either. I don’t like being cold and wet. I don’t like when my ears are so frozen they burn. I don’t like when my fingers are numb. I don’t like snow boots or wearing fourteen sweatshirts and five pairs of socks. I don’t like it at all.
So WHY in the hell does my friends’ Snow Day fun always make me homesick?
The answer came to me quite simply. As a Navy spouse, I can set up house anywhere you stick me. Tiny cramped apartment in Kings Bay? Been there! Two-story townhouse in Groton? Done that! House at the bottom of a hill in Washington? I’m there. I am a master at packing and unpacking. I have owned more curtain rods in more sizes than Wal-Mart. I have moved bookcases and nightstands from room to room to find each piece a spot, and I have bought and sold enough furniture to fill two houses.
But this house is not my home. As a military spouse, my home is the people in my life. Home is the best friend with whom you can watch (and ridicule) “Charlie and Lola” for hours. Home is the friends who show up for a cookout on a moments notice every night for an entire summer. Home is the friend ready for coffee at midnight after a long shift at a crappy restaurant. Home is the people you can call at any hour, and before you can say, “I need you,” they intuitively say, “How can I help?” That is home to this military spouse. In Connecticut I was home. It isn’t the snow that made me homesick, but the people who posted about it. It isn’t the view of the ocean I miss so much as the people I viewed it with.
So today I am homesick. I miss my “home” in Connecticut. I miss my “home” that moved to Ohio. I miss my “home” that lives in Georgia. I miss my “home” that lives in Arkansas. I am a military spouse. I have homes all over the place, and today I am homesick for each and everyone one of you.