Staying Put

I have moved 26 times in 31 years, an average of 1.192 years in each apartment, duplex, house, basement, spare room, and closet. This includes stops in 11 cities in five states: Oregon (Dallas, Salem, and Portland), Louisiana (Bossier City), Kansas (Salina, Tescott, and Gypsum), Nebraska (Lincoln and Omaha), and California (Pittsburg and Chico). Later this year I will turn 32 and make Move 27, bringing my average down to 1.185. The other two stats will remain unchanged because it looks like we will be moving back to a city in which I have already lived: Chico, California.

I hate moving. I am weary from it. I feel like I have two moves left in me. This next move, in mid-fall, likely to another rental, will get us to the region where we will settle down. The second move will be (must be) to a property we own. A piece of land with space for a large garden and a few animals, space for Molly to run and explore, room to walk and to breathe, room for the imagination, to sink roots. It disheartens me a little that the second move can’t be the first, but I am obligated to be realistic.

Over the next several months I am going to occasionally use this blog  as a place to work through some of my ideas and feelings about the meaning of “home.” Moving so often has led to a multi-faceted detachment – from place, relationships, consequences, emotions, etc. (more about this in future posts). What happens when I say “here and no further?” What does it mean to stay put?


7 comments on “Staying Put

  1. I look forward to reading your upcoming posts. I don’t even know how many times I moved while growing up. But we’ve lived in 4 different places in the past 2 years. I think we’re on pace to break your record, I won’t be 31 for another 7 years…
    but man, it is so tiring.

  2. I grew up in one place until I was 18. I want you and Molly to know that (I can’t imagine childhood any other way). We’ll make it in two moves and it’s my prayer that you’ll have the energy and creativity to make it there. It will be glorious! I love you!

  3. I hear you, Dylan. Any moves in your immediate future? To Portland, say? Or, Chico?

  4. 22 moves in 28 years, average of 1.27 years per place. Stops in 11 cities in five states. 10 of those moves have been since I moved to Portland in 2005, not including the summer of 2006 spent in China.

    I am also weary of moving, but feel there may be many more in my future.

  5. Leaving a question instead of comment. Or maybe it’s a little of both. I, like Kate, lived in two houses within 5 miles of each other for the first 18 years of my life. My parents still live in the second house. I still call it home, though I live three states south. Since I went to college I have been on a regular cycle of moving every two years. I guess the question part is, what, in your opinion, drives the serial move? I’m ready to stop and be home but don’t see that happening in the near future.

  6. Don’t forget Fresno. 🙂

  7. I lived in the same home until I was 25. Since then Clive and I have moved over 20 times, 4 moves to other countries, 2 moves across the Pacific and countless apartment moves. At 45, I really don’t want to move again, but if God wills, we move.

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