I’ve moved around a lot since leaving Humboldt County in my Thirties.
Spent a year and a half in a tiny town in Germany.
Lived in the woods on the edge of the Van Duzen River.
Spent six months living in seedy motels in central California with two sons under the age of four while their dad worked twelve hour days training for a job.
Moved to Hawaii and lived in a tiny A frame on the side of Mauna Loa and then in a wood plantation house on Mauna Kea.
Lived beside Mexico’s Caribbean Sea,
Each time I moved, I took with me no more than I could fit in one suitcase. Possessions become less valuable when you give them away every five years and start again. There are a couple of things I still miss. Grandma’s copper teapot that got left behind in Hawaii. My Jerusalem Bible with twenty-year’s worth of notes in the margins of which I pray some gringo in Mexico is making good use. A cast-iron pig my boys bought me for my thirtieth birthday that my sister has stored somewhere among the cobwebs of sixty years of accumulated treasures.
Still and all, I’ve learned an important lesson or two from all this traveling around. Most of you figured these things out without uprooting yourselves and moving every five years. I’ve always been a slow learner.
When you see pictures of families clutching each other and staring at what a tornado or a fire left of their houses, and you hear them thank God and say how lucky they are, they’re telling you the truth.
George Carlin said, A house is where we keep our stuff so we can go out and buy more stuff.
Home is where the heart is and we either carry that within ourselves or go homeless.