I Am The Forty Percent

Nearly 40% of people who have lived in more than one community don’t consider home to be where they are currently living. Count me among the 40%. I still answer “Los Angeles” when someone asks where home is even though I have been in Seattle 10 years and have no intention of living in Southern California again. At least I’m not among the pathetic 4% who consider home to be where they went to high school.

The question of home is a vexing one for me. It does not hinge on quality of life (the social, physical and emotional parts of my life here are excellent) but hangs on something more visceral. For now, home is where I am able to put into place my aspirations and able to live with equanimity.

There are three places I imagine this can happen. One is this house in the Spanish Pyrenees:


This grabbed me and has not let go even though I have not been to the Pyrenees. There are lots of guest rooms. Take a look and pick out yours.

The other is the state of Montana; almost anywhere that is not Butte. You know the butterflies you get when you see a person you really love after you’ve been apart awhile? That’s how I feel whenever I have been to Montana. Every time, no matter the season.

Add to the list, the hills of Sonoma County where I used to drive as a student at UC Davis, to find a bit of comfortable anonymity in contrast to the everyone-knows-my-name side effect of being student body president in a small town. Steve Sperry, a hitch-hiker and gold-miner I picked up one day at a Sacramento on-ramp, (full disclosure: I drove by him the first time and took the next exit to circle back to give him a lift) first told me of Juanita’s, a bar and restaurant (I use that term loosely) on Highway 12 in Sonoma. Coming in at an imposing 200 plus pounds, Juanita Musson, all jowl and chins, ran the place and were it not for the following obit I just found, I would question whether Juanita and her cold beers really existed or if they were some lore I created to explain how I would come to drive those hills that felt so right.


Not being able to call Seattle home saddens me. If there were more sun and warmth it would be a real contender but no amount of global warming will make that so. I suspect that, like the turtle and snail who carry their home everywhere, I may one day realize that everywhere I go is home; that home is some peaceful place that you reach from within, always welcoming the many people each of us holds inside.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *