Monday, November 8, 2010

One Flew out of the Cuckoo's Nest

In "Flying the Coop," I realized a few things…like I know how to move, but I don’t know how to stay. Like it’s a romantic’s choice to keep flying away. Like the result is that precious few things remain, and few things remain precious. Like riding off into the sunset can be fun, but you leave a lot behind.

This month’s Oxford American features an essay about suburban drain, and the word “solstagia” was coined, referring to our especially American lack of place, and our soul’s nostalgia for it. I can trace my wanderlust, which was really a craving for home, back to second grade when we moved from Connecticut to North Carolina, and I never felt part of. Funny thing is, Connecticut was not my family’s home; upstate New York was, and because of my lovely summers there, that’s where I longed for most of my life.

Have you moved a crazy amount of times, and how do you feel about it?
If you prefer staying in one place, why is that?
If you Goodwill and garage sale, what’s your best find?
For me, a purple can of paint is in hand every move. What’s in yours?
Do you live in a place with a sense of place?
Do you long for a certain place?
How can we create that feeling of being at home no matter where we happen to live?


  1. My kids have moved 7 times in 13 years. I used to love moving before having kids but now it is a nightmare. There is only so many times you can create a winnie the pooh bedroom without him screaming at you 'leave me alone for gods sake!'

    As for paint as you can imagine I always had yellow but now it is beige to make sure it fits with my eclectic set of furniture from places around the globe!

  2. I long for Beaufort, always have and always will. Something about the town, the water and the horses soothes my soul. I long to run, but I'm one of the few who stay, caught by family and circumstance. If I go, a can of raspberry red paint will go with me for my front door.

  3. The house we are in now reminds me of the saying "marry in haste, repent in leisure", only it was mortgage in haste. We had moved so many times that in my depression over leaving the one home I wanted to stay in, and convinced that I wouldn't be here long, I said just get a house. Of course we are here now for years on end with no end in sight. I long for a community and have finally realized that only I could make it home...but the walls are still freakin' beige, just in case I ever do get to move again...

  4. I went to junior college 44 miles west of the town I spent birth to 18 in. I transferred to a university 32 miles east of said hometown, After marrying we lived in the university town until my husband was transferred to the city where I went to junior college :) So really I have never lived more than 44 miles from "home". We could have gone to CT or IL or NJ or PA with my husband's work but my feet are planted firmly in eastern NC. I have visited 7 countries and 42 states and there is no place like home.

  5. Thanks for sharing! We still love Winnie here, too, but never have done a room in it for some reason...Although my favorite quote is on the kitchen wall ("If you live to be 100...). And I understand the allure of Beaufort, my Mary, and raspberry paint so yummy you could eat it. Even when I know we'll be moving, I still get the freakin beige off the walls...And Beverly, I hear an essay or blog titled "44 miles from home" in you...I'm with you that there's no place like home, I just can't find home...


Thank you so much for commenting - it makes our day! Your comment will appear just as soon as I get the wash out, and determine that you're a real person!