When I was in college, home was, at one point, a white-walled dormitory room. At the same time, it was the raised-ranch yellow house that I grew up in. My “going home”, depending on the context, could have meant walking back to my room in Randall Hall or driving two-and-a-half hours south towards my childhood town. In the last few years, as I’ve moved around, “home” has further diminished in it’s quality of specificity. Home came to mean my husband’s parent’s property at the Cape, my family’s cottage in New Hampshire, my family’s house, and whatever temporary residence I was occupying at the time whether it be in Providence, RI, Newmarket, NH, or Luserna San Giovanni, Italy. It became a feeling more than a place. Something I could pack up in my suitcase and carry with me.
While my perception of home is perfectly suitable for my transient lifestyle, I’ve found it’s not exactly compatible with society’s idea of the word. Especially when my transience could potentially involve international relocation at six-month increments for the remainder of Kevin’s hockey career. Semi-annual relocation isn’t necessarily a problem. But, with the logistics of it all, it’s certainly not a walk in the park.
Take the already confusing issue of insurance for instance. Qualifying for healthcare plans requires establishing residency. Establishing residency requires living at a single address for at least six months out of the year. Alright, so I use my family’s home as the base for our United States residency and I look for insurance in Connecticut. But, when Kevin is playing hockey, I am covered under his insurance. So, technically, paying for coverage for the full year would mean paying twice for coverage during the hockey season. Seeing as individual health care plans are grossly over-priced, this option is very expensive. However, with pre-existing condition clauses still in effect, cancelling coverage during the season and starting it back up when it’s over could lead to a financial nightmare should a problem develop when I’m not covered by a U.S. policy. Mainly, I could be denied coverage when I re-apply.
Next, consider internet and cell phone plans. Specifically, consider the two-year contract. Not exactly helpful for a mobile couple. Trying to secure wireless internet for the cottage address has proven a particularly tedious endeavor. The question isn’t “how much will it cost?” The question is, “do you prefer to pay your fortune in installation and early deactivation fees for a two year service or in the upfront cost of the device and outrageous rates for pay as you go service?” Having already paid the fees of a prematurely cancelled policy in Italy, neither of these options is especially desirable.
Then of course, there’s the matter of finding property insurance when our belongings are stored between three different addresses. Not to mention our two cars and the insurance that’s involved in storing a vehicle and the problem of storage itself.
So, yes, I am back in New England. And between visiting with friends and family, I have been occupying myself with the aforementioned logistics of settling into my life here. All the while, I am readying myself to complete a different set of logistical tasks in September when we prepare for another move. It seems that we may have to deal with the ordinarily frustrating pieces of adult life at a higher frequency than the average couple, but I keep reminding myself that it doesn't matter. Because I'm home.