If home is where your heart is... where is your heart?
Where we feel at home can vary. It can be with the people (or dogs) we love... it can be where we grew up... where our best childhood memories are... where our parents are. Home can be a feeling... a place... a time... an event. Home can be a comfort ... a smell ... a sound ... a touch ... a taste.
I grew up in a rather transient, military brat way. I missed out on getting to know family ... grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles ... because of it, and I think if there is anything that I regret about our moves as a child it is that fact. When I've met people who grew up in the same town they were born in, the same town that all their family lived in ... I'm secretly jealous. All of my grandparents are gone now, and I can count on one hand the times I got to see them before they passed away. I didn't meet most of my cousins (at least that I could remember) until I was an adult and traveled on my own to see them. We always have such a blast on those rare visits that I feel I missed out on so much growing up by not seeing them more often.
I have only two or three that I've known since my school days, and most of our friendship has been based on letters... which became less frequent with the rise of the Internet and email. Now... I seldom hear from them at all. They have busy lives just as I do, and geography separates us. If we lived closer, I know we would get together for coffee... or wine... on a regular basis. I've missed that with the friends I lost when I left Florida ... the potluck game nights of shouting Balderdash, Scattergories, Taboo, Catch Phrase, or Pictionary answers.
In my heart, I've always felt like Florida was home for me. Even when I was in California for fifteen years, it never became home for me. I'd only lived in Florida for eleven years before I left.
Germany has always felt like home. We lived there for four years when I was a child and it's magic never left me. I've traveled back on vacation a few times as an adult and still find the country just incredible. I think I would love to live there if I could just figure out how to get Trooper over without him freaking out in cargo. Do they let dogs fly first class? What about slow boats? Henry would need to go on a diet to fit under the seat in front of us... unless it was first class.