Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My Hometown

I am often asked "Where are you from?" I don't really have an answer for that. I answer that I am from Knoxville, Tennessee because that is where I have lived for the last 11 years.

But I am not really "from" here. I did not grow up here and have no family here. My aunt lives in Oak Ridge which is nearby but she is not from there either.

I don't go into the long explanation of being an Army Brat and the fact that I don't really have a hometown to call my own. Wow, that sounds quite pitiful. Cue the violins. "Poor little Army girl . . . grew up playing in the Alps. Poor you!"

Maybe I can give you a little understanding of why I feel this way. Here is a list of places I lived, in the order that I moved, until I was 20 years old and got married:

Murray/Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Ft. Lewis, Washington
Garmisch, West Germany
Munich, West Germany
Clarksville, Tennessee
Bel Air, Maryland
Leavenworth, Kansas
Petersburg, Virginia
Dale City, Virginia
Nurnberg, Germany
Munich, Germany
Stuttgart, Germany
Clarksville, Tennessee
Montgomery, Alabama

The longest I lived anywhere before I got married was 4 years in Dale City, Virginia while my dad was stationed at the Pentagon and I was in middle and high school. I graduated from high school in Nurnberg, Germany. I went to college in Germany and in Tennessee. I don't really consider any of those places my hometown but they certainly hold a special place in my heart.

Ultimately, I think the world is my hometown. I have lived on both coasts of the US as well as the midwest and the south. I have lived in Asia and Europe and visited many countries other than those in which I have lived. I have learned so much about the people of the world, their customs, and their beliefs. I feel like a global citizen.

I am glad my children have a hometown, well, really two - Montgomery and Knoxville. They have lifelong ties and consistency that I never had. But I also feel they missed something. They have only one view of the world, that of a US resident. They have been to Mexico but only as a tourist. They have no concept of door handles that don't turn in Europe, vendors selling rice on the street in Asia, and toilet paper, horrible toilet paper in most other countries in the world.

It is my dream to show them the best of both worlds. To have the same, loving place they will always call home and the experiences of life in the rest of the world. Now, where is that lottery ticket I bought the other day??????????????


Wanda said...

Wow, Tere ~~~ how many people can say the "World is their Home"

I live in the same house until I was 18 ~~then went to college. Over the next 20 years we served in churches from 6 -7 year at a time, them we were up north for 27 years in the same house....
Now, retired...I hope this is our last home until Heaven.

This was such a neat post to read!!