Sunday, August 28, 2016

What is Home?

 So, I have a friend that we met down in Texas. Her and her husband sold their home and bought one of these.  It has me so curious.  I think they traveled all summer, because I saw pictures like this at times on Facebook.  They will  be heading down to South Padre Island, TX to park and live in this for the winter soon.

It has me thinking and wondering and almost, I guess, attracted to the idea of getting rid of everything and just living simply and someplace warm. Someplace beautiful. Having the ability to travel anywhere in the United States and still be home.

It has me wondering if "home" is a place, or the people you love.  Is home just my husband?  Or is home my children too?  Of course now, it is my children too, but, you know, when they are all grown does that change?  Do I want to have the "come home to mama's" type home/life?

If you did something like this, what would you keep? I'd have to store my pictures I suppose, you know, the pictures I'd developed before everything was digital. I think we'd have to have a 5th wheel type RV, you know the type you'd pull with a truck.  Then, we'd have a vehicle to drive around without pulling it behind the camper.

Where would you live in the off season, like in the late spring, summer and early fall?  Would you rent a space on a lake somewhere in the Midwest?  Would you get tired of a small place?  (although, this looks big, it's much smaller than an actual house)

I don't know.  I have tons of thoughts and questions about this.  After thinking about this, I think I'd love it for sometimes, for certain seasons, but not all the time.  I'd love to have a place for the kids to come home to, but then, that too, opens new questions and some of the same questions.  Like what is "home"?  Would it matter to my kids if "home" were in a different house, like a patio home, or a condo where the yardwork would be taken care of and maybe there would be a pool and workout room?  (and in a warmer state, like Arizona)

After thinking quite a bit about this, I think I'd like a "house" with space. just space to be alone sometimes. (not that that happens ever here)

After spending one winter and another 5 weeks on South Padre Island, Texas, boy, that is something to dream about. I loved it so much. The people, the area, the ocean, the humidity, the salty air, the small-town feel it has. Now, wintering in this way, also opens a ton of questions. (I think I'll save that for another post!)

I think "home" is family.  My husband and children and someday grandchildren.  If my parents moved away from the home they've lived in for the past 29 years, I'd be OK with that. Because seeing them is all I care about, not the house they live in.  Besides, since my mom remodeled her kitchen 18 years ago, I still don't know where anything is.

The wonderful thing about our beautiful Catholic faith is that no matter where you are, the Mass is also and it is the same in every Catholic church across the country, even world. It is the first thing I look for when we travel and plan a move, the church.  If they have Adoration, if they have Confession, if they have daily Mass. I have to admit one of the things I missed most when we were in Texas (for 3 months) was our church family. Seeing the same people every Sunday. In a city by the ocean, you rarely see the same people each Sunday.

I'm curious, what do you think? Given a choice, what would you do?


  1. I think about this a lot, and for now we are staying with the big house that they can all come home to. And they have - so many moves in & out, during and after college. I suppose if we had down-sized, that would not be an option. We still have to get creative with sleeping arrangements, to fit everybody in (2 spouses so far, no grandchildren yet). You are right, it's the fact of being together more than anything. They love coming home, which makes me happy.
    As for a motorhome or 5th Wheel... my parents got a big bus-size RV, which was not the carefree-living it might look like. They traveled a lot during the time of the highest gas prices ($4+) and spent thousands on fuel! Campsites had gotten more expensive than they had expected as well (except one casino they liked to visit). They couldn't park it in their driveway at home, so had to pay storage fees when not using it, and when they came to visit us, had to cut it short in order to not have the RV parked on the street overnight. It had one bedroom in the back, and a few convertible seat-to-bed configurations, so it really couldn't fit a lot of people at once, either. They sometimes pulled a car behind it, and had a terrible mishap in which the axel on the car broke and was actually dragging on the ground for many miles before they realized something was wrong. Car was totaled in the middle of nowhere. They didn't take many trips after that.
    My friends' parents got a 5th Wheel and seemed a lot happier with that for many years.
    When I think about traveling, I try to find a good deal on a rental condo. I feel so much more flexible and not tied down to anything. Of course, you never know what might be available when you are!

  2. My kiddos meet the Kellogg family in line for confession at one point two years ago. They are an amazing family with 12 kids. Truly they didn't really sell their family home but rent it out except at Christmas time. The dad works with computer programing I believe and they travel constantly. The kids are professional kayakers, or competitive I should say. They follow the kayaking circuit in the summer months. They are a devout Catholic family, they homeschool and make life an adventure. She and I have talked several times over the past few years. When they hit Houston we try to get together and let the kids loose on a local park together. When we met them I really wanted to do what they do. We just can't make Jason's job that flexible. The KelloggFamily love all outdoor activities. They hike, swim, etc etc. They are super closer to each other and don't mind their cramped spaces. The oldest is the age of my second daughter and she stays in a their home town working with her own apartment. The second oldest still travels with them and will until he get married. he is engaged as of New Years. I share that info to say that the kids love this lifestyle and have grown into beautiful adults just fine.
    That is a link to a video about their family that was made shortly after we met them. I love that they get to find new churches all the time. They are truly apart of the universal church. My older kids started talking with them because they bonded over the big family thing.
    The thing that pulls at your main point is that in the end they never sold their "stick house" as they are referred to in the RV world. They have traditional Christmas with all the memories in their home but the kids feel just as comfy in the RV. They say that the entire continent is their back yard.

  3. Oh yes, we've gone back and forth with this line of questioning quite often. For me, it's definitely the people and not the place. I've enjoyed each place we've stayed but when we move on, I don't hold on. I was fine when my parents sold their house. I see how others can't do that though.

    For RV-ing, I'm not sure. My husband isn't sure how he could work (he not only needs internet access, he needs to talk and whatnot). If we were someplace where the weather cooperates, the kids and I would be outside. But if I'm totally honest with myself, I think that I would have a hard time. My mind likes to create scenarios that my body just can't always go along with. Plus, I don't think I would like driving an RV!

    Dealing with health issues really brings to mind what's important to me and what's not. Working in the yard, gardening, redoing a house, etc., while fun at times, doesn't make that list any more. I've come to realize the great American dream of owning a home really isn't my dream. Of course, there are plenty of issues to think of with renting too.

    Back to traveling, with my family anyway, I like the idea of renting out condos, townhomes, etc. I've dreamed of skipping out of town for the winter but it's so hard as we become more entrenched in a community. Part of me wants to drop everything, simplify, and roam, and part of me wants to build up local roots. I really am torn.

  4. Man...that does look fun!! They have a really nice camper. Our camper isn't so nice which makes us appreciate our home more! It still is a camper and not a tent. I would love to just travel. Not sure how some people afford that. He must make good money working out of the camper. That would be cool! I would do it if the finances worked out! I think I would just camp at the beach for the rest of my life!

  5. I have sometimes thought of doing exactly this. Mostly out of the desire to downsize, but how nice it would be to travel. And yet, as I think of it, where would church community life go if we were always on the road? Where would community go period? I don't think we are meant to be nomads. Downsizing is definitely good and having an RV is good, too, but I think I need a place of permanent residence.

  6. This is what David wants to do! Myself? I hesitate for many of the reasons you stated above. I suppose I'd pack up and safely store the special memories and perhaps rent a little apartment later on?? I don't know. But the adventure sure seems fun!

  7. I guess home is where the heart is. But for me, I would want pretty much one consistent place all the time, whatever that might be.

    I would like an RV so you could run away from tornadoes, haha!

  8. I'd love the adventure. Sometimes I tell my husband I would like to do something crazy like this, or move to europe and live in an apartment with our kids...he always reminds me that's the idealistic part of me and after a few weeks, i'd miss 'home'.


Thank you so much for stopping and commenting!