Saturday, December 20, 2008

Home Is Where The Heart Is

I called this house "home" for 24 years. I've not lived in one that long since.

That's why I found an AP headline, Americans less likely to roam: study, of interest. The article states a lot of statistics showing that Americans do not move around as much as they once did.

I guess it's an issue of circumstance. We moved to Pittsburgh from Chicago in 1945. Dad was with Westinghouse and that was where the job was until they moved it to Buffalo in the 60s, told him it was his if he was at his desk the following Monday morning. That was on a Friday. He opted, as they had hoped, for early retirement. That was the end of the era when companies cared for their employees and in turn the employees were faithful to them.

When Hub and I married, in the late 60s, the trend of following the career path no matter where it lead was just beginning. In the first few years we moved from Pittsburgh to Princeton, to Des Moines, Hartford, Denver, San Francisco and Houston. Time between moves lengthened after that. Los Angeles, Seattle, Rochester, NY and now Coeur d'Alene.

Each and every time I considered it a grand adventure. We still have good friends from each and every city. I guess I would have made a good Army "brat".

I find it of interest when a promotion is refused because it would mean a move. Or that kids can't be taken out of one school system for another. I understand wanting to be close to family and the wrench it gives when you leave behind friends, but both will still be there. Family for sure, and if the friends are really good friends. As for how the kids will fare? That depends on the attitude of the parents.

I've asked many people why they've chosen to stay in a particular place. Especially ones that are economically depressed. Places where making a move would improve their lives. It's so beautiful is an answer. Or I've never had any desire to live any place else.

What is lacking? Plain old curiosity. That's what I don't understand. No adventuresome spirit. When Kodak was dieing in Rochester, NY and jobs were available in operations in other cities, people would not move. I would guess it's the same in any company town". Like Detroit with the auto industry. Like northern Idaho with the demise of the timber industry.

The article claims that the trend is due to an aging population. Maybe, but I would question that assumption. We may be gaining in numbers but it's the young who do the majority of the moving - when they do.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to retire in the old home town or state. One day we'd like to get back to Montana. It's in our blood. We have, however, never regretted our nomadic years. The people we've met and what we've learned about them and from them. The places we've seen. The experiences we've had that one can't do on a visit. Like experiencing autumn in New England. Or Texas. You cannot get the full taste of the Texan lifestyle without having lived it!

If Obama's plans for job creation and stimulating the economy require a move, I truly hope the younger generations will jump on the band wagon for a great ride. I cannot believe they'd ever regret it!


Word Tosser said...

In our younger years, children lived with in 5 miles of their parents...even closer for some. It was not uncommon to be next door to your parents.
In the 1950's it seems we became a moving generation. I have lived in 5 different states... and so many different towns, that all I had to do is whistle and my furniture loaded up on the trailer and truck.
I have been in this house for 10 years. The most since I was 17 and left home. The average was 4 years.
My wanderlust is disappearing. Guess it is age. Or maybe it is money...

Hughes ap Williams said...

I can't go with you on this one. I was raised in the same town until I was in my twenties and never lived more than 45 minutes away.

One of the things I have always cherished is friends with whom I have shared my entire life and there was something special about having Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, and cousins everywhere around me.

The day after Thanksgiving a hometown restaurant has an all-class reunion for my high school and it's so incredible how you can still learn things about people you grew up with - whether you were friends or not in school.

And there is so much still to do. I am always amazed at how much locals don't know about their own areas.

I feel as though I have a special security blanket that is there whenever I need it.

Margie's Musings said...

We moved from Coffeyville to San Antonio when we married. Bob was in the air Force. We lived there for eight months..until he mustered out then moved back to Coffeyville. We lived here for a little over a year when Phillips Petroleum called him with a job. We then moved to Bartlesville for 16 years. In 1969 we moved to Caney, KS and after 11 years moved back to Coffeyville when I got a real good job here. In 2000 we moved to Independence for three years but did not like it and moved back to Coffeyville in 2003.

But even though we've only lived a few places, we've moved 17 times within those towns and cities.

However, I do not want to move again.

Dogwalkmusings said...

Well, one thing for sure, the part in the study about older folks being inclined to stay put appears to be true! I can't disagree. Moving, under the best of circumstances is an exhausting endeavor!