And Would You?

Many people ask why those who live in an area that is occasionally hit with a disaster don’t move elsewhere. I’ve asked. However, I’ve always been a bit of an army brat, a wanderlust. I’ve lived in several different U.S. states on both coasts, several different towns, counties in some of those states. Moving never bothered me much. It’s often annoying, or a challenge but for me a new area means new experiences, new places to visit, new people, and increased knowledge.

If I’m honest here I need to admit that I may be something of an exception. I’ve been surprised repeatedly, although by now I no longer should be, with the information that most people don’t move as much or at all. Okay, they might move to a new house in the same town, or a town or two away from their original hometown. But up and move to a different state? Not really, unless it’s a seriously great job offer or a retirement decision, and even then the majority don’t.

And that’s the basis for what I’m getting at. People are not comfortable living in a place they don’t call home, or where their roots are. Consider a family that’s been working the same farm for three, four, or five generations. It gets passed down to whichever child wants it the most. Other siblings relocate nearby. They usually have family dinners weekly or monthly. The holidays mean “I’ll be Home for Christmas” literally. They love where they live in a way that a wanderlust like me doesn’t understand except abstractly.

People they’ve known and been friends with since early childhood are important to them too.

I get that funny gut feeling when I hear that song but when in my head I try to imagine heading home for the holidays, well it just isn’t there. But I’m different and I kinda like it, but too wish I could share that feeling of being needed of having a home to go to for the holidays, I guess.

So after a disaster hits, people pick up the pieces and within a while, they’ve restored their homes, farms, businesses, and resume life as their forebears did. They honestly don’t think there might be a better way or a better place.

Don’t be hard on them if they don’t do like you think you’d do if in their shoes, because without understanding the meaning of home the way they understand it, you can’t be in their shoes. Period.

For me it’s live and let live, care about people and stop criticizing what you cannot understand. For me a disaster or two means pack up and move, but hell that’s what I’ve done because, well I did it. And who knows, the next move might be to a place I’ll learn to call home in the same way they do. Or perhaps home to me is inside, not a tangible place at all.

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