Monday, August 29, 2005

Home

Two weeks ago I flew home to Portland to spend a week and a half with my family. One of my brothers is in California, and one of my sisters stayed in Utah, but everyone else was home. It's been nice to be with them. I have a really good family, for which I am very grateful.

It was a challenge to find things to do to keep myself busy without the demands of school and work. Here's what I did:
  • I spent part of a day cutting boards and feeding them under the house to my dad, who was reinforcing our kitchen floor so that it will be strong enough to be covered with stone.
  • I spent a few days researching digital cameras and finally purchased one. (More on that in a later post.)
  • I went camping with my dad and my youngest brother.
  • I bought some clothes (since I have a car here!).
  • I started learning about Mac programming using Xcode and Objective-C.
  • I played with my brother's bird Fluffy.
  • I babysat my brother.
There are lots of little things to like about being home. The bathrooms are clean (and for that matter, so is the whole house). Things match. The couch (well, the downstairs one, at least) doesn't suck you in so far that you're afraid that once you sit down you'll never get back out. There's good food in the cupboard and fridge. Mom does the laundry. There's a piano to play. I can be myself without worrying about what other people think (my family already knows I'm crazy). The internet connection is really fast. There are lots of windows. I know where (almost) everything is. There are lots of tools in the garage. There's a car I can take so I don't have to stay within a radius of a few miles. There's a dishwasher!

It's strange how the concept of "home" has changed for me as I've grown older. I remember each place that my family has lived, and each has felt like home to me. We moved to Portland when I was about six and my parents have lived ever since in the same house. That's been home to me for a long time. Even when I went to college as a freshman and when I was a missionary in Texas, Portland was home. I came "home" for Christmas and after my first year of school and after my mission.

This time, however, it hasn't felt so much like I've come home, but rather that I left my home in Utah to visit my parents' home. It's a bit of a strange feeling. I'm not quite sure what caused me to change. It's certainly nothing that my parents have done; they're as welcoming as ever. A couple of my siblings were absent this time, but they've been absent before when I've been home. I think I'm just getting older and coming to identify myself more as myself, rather than solely as a member of my family. I'll always be part of my family, but I think that, five years after I first moved away from home, I'm beginning to see myself as a separate person. Even with its sagging couch, sometimes-dirty sink, and cramped quarters, my apartment in Utah has been my "home".

(Sorry, no word of the day today.)