- Posted August 22, 2013 by
Albany, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Where is my home?
What Will My Kids Say?
We bought our first house when I was pregnant with our first child. Our house was a 3 bedroom home in a quiet neighborhood in Rochester. There was a library right around the corner; the same library I utilized during my high school years. It had a fenced back yard and sidewalks for bike riding. It was a great place to raise our children.
Life however throws us lemons. Some of those lemons are super sour and even rotted. I became very ill after our third child was born. I was unable to return to work as a nurse. My husband (also a nurse) started working over time to make up for the loss of income. I went to multiple doctors and specialists with no results. I continued to get worse. We were living in survival mode. I could barely function enough to care for our 3 children aged 4, 2, and newborn at that time. So when our youngest was 18 months old, we took off. My husband became a traveling nurse so we could travel around the country in hopes of finding a cure to something we were told was incurable.
We first went to the desert - Laughlin, Nevada. 4 months later we were in Maryland. My husband's assignments were typically 3 months in length, but often he would extend his contracts. Initially we had a pull behind utility trailer we loaded with essentials: kitchen necessities, towels, linen, clothes, toys, and so forth. The company would set us up in a 3 bedroom furnished apartment. We would not know our next address until about 5-7 days prior to moving.
We have been to the Maryland, D.C. area multiple times, Denver, CO, back to Rochester for assignments in Buffalo, and Pennsylvania. For the first three years of traveling, my husband would tell me he would prefer we got a travel trailer to live in so we did not have to do so much packing and unpacking. I humored him and would go to RV shows. But my final say was always, "You are never going to get me to live in a tiny little box with 3 small children".
Three years later in 2010, I finally agreed to the travel trailer. It made perfect financial sense. Instead of the company setting up and paying for our housing, we would get a subsidy to provide our own housing. An RV site is much cheaper than a nice apartment. We had to decide right then exactly what we could not live without. Everything else went to storage. We ended up with a 28 foot travel trailer from 1988. It was old, but solid. It had one bed. The girls slept on the pull down couch, and our son slept on the fold down table/bench.
The travel trailer now became our home - when we traveled to a new city, we pulled it along, parked it at an RV site, and hooked up to water, sewer, and electricity. All the conveniences of a "real" home condensed into a 28 foot long box. Our children spent a lot of time outside, but then again, they always have. They loved all the seasons! Playing in the snow was their favorite though!
We lived in our box for approximately 2 1/2 years. We did spend 3 months in Pennsylvania in an apartment during the winter as there were no all-season RV sites close by. We also spent 3 months in a cottage south of Albany, NY while we looked for a home to rent. The box was getting too small for our growing children. We spent another 6 months in the box while we fixed up a friend's rental home so we could live in it. We have been in the Albany, NY area on and off for the last 2 years. The travel jobs are good here and we have met many friends. Rochester is not too far away to visit our families. But this is not our end point.
Two years ago we bought land in Kentucky. Our dream is to settle down and have a small farm. We want to grow our own food and live out in the country. This was not always our dream. But health issues can truly affect your entire life. Along our journey we have learned what it means to be truly healthy. I have found the cure to what most doctors believe is incurable. I am on the road to healing.
We will be going to Kentucky soon, as soon as I can return to work full time. Will our children call Kentucky their home? Or will they say they are from Rochester where they were all born? They have friends, cousins, and family from all over the United States. Their memories are full of adventures from all over. Kentucky will be a whole new adventure for them.
Their home is with us, their parents. Home is filled with love, excitement, and adventure. Home is filled with homemade foods, toys that are both old and new, a dog that follows them everywhere, and the promise that we will always be a family no matter where we live.
Some day our children will have families of their own, but they will know where they came from. They will know that a home is centered around love. They will know that it does not matter what roof is over your head as much as who you are sharing that roof with. They will know that friendships and relationships can remain solid and true no matter the distance.
The phrase, "Home is where the heart is" is especially true for us.