My Heart has Two Homes

Life has its Big moments!

The World's Biggest Rocking Chair... taking the time out to see the Big things in life!
The World's Biggest Rocking Chair... taking the time out to see the Big things in life!

Years later... still happy

It's not about where it started... it is about how long it lasts!
It's not about where it started... it is about how long it lasts!

Where the story starts...

It has been almost 12 years since I have met my husband. It was a memorable occasion, well, at least for both of us, and that is all that truly matters in this story.

I was 19, and so was he. We had both stepped out onto fresh new ground. We had joined the military, said goodbye to family and friends, and traveled far away on an adventure truly of our own. We had suffered our dues in Basic Training, and we were trained to do a job needed for the Army in our Advanced Individual Training (better known as AIT), before finally reaching a destination we could call our permanent home (for at least two years!) This was when we met… at Fort Drum, New York.

Now immediately upon telling people my husband and I met in New York, they start to thinking big city lights, glamour, taxi cabs and “Oh the life!” Yep… not even close. Fort Drum is closer to the border of Canada then it is to any lights and glamour throughout the whole entire United States. We were in the middle of nowhere - which was truly comforting for me since I come from the middle of nowhere - Wisconsin. My husband, on the other hand, was completely out of his realm. He was from Southern California. A place were parking on the freeway is a norm, big city lights decorate the backdrop, and there is never a drop of snow. He was, ironically, shoved into the middle of nowhere where a flurry results in about 6 to 10 inches of snow! They should have issued him a shovel!

This is where our story begins. Two people, far from home, in a land unknown, who happen to run into each other one night and eventually fall in love. Now in the line of life, every little decision you make alters that line from being straight, sending you into an entirely different outcome. While a lifeline that is completely straight can only come from a person who has never lived, each little bump off the line can alter your life completely.

Looking back at all the bumps in my life giving my straight line a curvy and wild type pattern, I wonder what would have happened if I would have straightened out my line a little and never accepted this man’s proposal! While I am happy with my life and the results that have come from our meeting… it is still a thought of “I wonder?”

Do you have the same predicament?

Do you have family that lives in two different states?

See results without voting

And the Wedding Bells ring...

We got married while we were still in the military. When we finally got out, we had to make a very serious decision, one most people take for granted and never even have to consider - we had to choose which family to live by.

His family is from California and mine is from Wisconsin. This is obviously not a quick hop, skip and jump from each other. Sometimes I envy how my sisters' have significant others who come from the same area. They can share holidays with both families. Granted, it might be more hectic, but at least they can see both sides whenever they want. Ours always takes tons of planning and hours of traveling. While in the military, this was the way of life. After many years (and both of us out of the military), a few kids later, this has become a nuisance.

If we would have never met, it is very possible I would have come home after the military, meet a nice man from my own state and never had to deal with this hassle every day of my life. That is the “if” side of things. The nice side is, I have traveled. I get to see places. While my yearly vacation usually revolves around visiting family, it is nice to know we can go somewhere out of state with a fairly low budget.

If my husband and I would have never met, I can guarantee my three lovely children would have never existed. Yes, I might have had kids… and maybe he would have too. We would have been able to rely on a support system from both sides of the family in the same place. But if we would have never met and gotten married, our children would have never existed. While I think of the “ifs” of what life would have been like, my children are one thing I would never sacrifice.

The possibilities that could have been will never beat the real life I have lived. The memories my husband and I share are truly priceless. We have visited places some never venture out to see and we spend our time as a family, encouraging our children to grow up with the love of exploring.

My kids have had the opportunity to see many places, with us holding their hand along the way. Here we are hiking through trails in Utah, trying to find the Arches Memorial. The views are breathtaking.
My kids have had the opportunity to see many places, with us holding their hand along the way. Here we are hiking through trails in Utah, trying to find the Arches Memorial. The views are breathtaking. | Source

Exploring life...

We have taken road trips, spent days at Disneyland, caught some rays in a waterpark or two. We have seen the biggest Meteor Crater (as well as the World’s Largest Rocking Chair!) We have swam in lakes, swam in oceans, and camped in the middle of the woods. We have built castles in the sand and forts in the snow. We have hiked to waterfalls and sledded down snowy hills. We have explored the Mall of America and drove past The Arches in St. Louis. This is only a few things my children have been lucky enough to experience. If it wasn’t for my husband and I coming from two completely different areas, my children would have never experienced half of these sights! Many children may never have these opportunities.

So, while I sit and think of the “If’s” of what could have been if we would have never gotten married, or maybe never even met, I wouldn’t trade any of my experiences for the chance to have things differently. Yes, maybe it would have been an easier way of life, for the both of us, but would it really be worth it.

Therefore, my heart has two homes, and it is something that I must struggle with for the rest of my life. Part of my heart belongs in Wisconsin, where life is much simplier and you get to experience four seasons. The other part of my heart belongs in California. This is a place that I never knew, but have meet through the path I have taken in life.

For the rest of my life, it will be a back and forth battle on where to live. My heart belongs in both places and therefore, while I may be happy living in one place, I will always be torn for the family that is left on the other side.

Comments 19 comments

W. K. Hayes profile image

W. K. Hayes 6 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina

Being away from family is a hard burden to bear. My ex-wife was from Massachusetts while my family is from the south. Over the course of nine years I was only able to see my family maybe four times when it was possible. Something that might help you is, buy youself prepaid airline tickets. You can get them dirt cheap buying them a few months in advance and that way you can take a coupld of days each month, to go see your family more often and they can do the same. You shouldn't have to take the whole family. Just take you, yourself and you and go for two days, once a month. A round trip ticket shouldn't cost more than a hundred bucks and you'll be a lot happier having to deal with two homes. This really is a wonderful article and very well written.

barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

Thanks for the comment... the only bad part about just taking myself is I am pretty sure my the family wouldn't be too happy if I left the kids behind. But, I will definatley have to look for those prepaid tickets! It might help make the whole traveling a little cheaper!

 6 years ago

don't even think of your heart being in two places- your heart actually is in just one place- it is in the right place!!

cheerios barbergirl for being the kind of person who makes the world believe in these days of quick marraiges and quicker divorces that love still exists in the pure unadulterated form that it does in your heart.

W. K. Hayes profile image

W. K. Hayes 6 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina

Try's the site my family uses. And, you're right...going without the grandkids would definitely earn you some sour faces. Although, from some of your articles I've read it sounds like you could use a breather. Being a mom is the hardest job on the planet and you have my respect, for it.

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

Thanks for share about your family to us. I believe you have a great family between your lovely husband and your children. Believe me, everything goes well if you promise in your heart. No matter you live. You will find the most comfy place. Have a nice day! Love and peace...


Inspired to write profile image

Inspired to write 6 years ago from Wales UK

Great hub of how one can reflect on 'what if' because what you are doing is, respecting what you have now. Thanks for sharing it sound you both are soulmates together.

Regards Dale

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA

I think missing family would be very hard. You should try to buy a web cam so you can chat with them when you cannot visit Wisconsin. I know a web cam is not the same as being there in person, but it does help.

Another thing I wanted to add if your family could come and visit you in California also. I remember we went to visit my mom's side of the family in the Mid-West, but only a couple of them ever came out here to visit us. You know the burden of visiting and sharing should not be all on you, and maybe they can come sometimes to see you.

barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

Missing family is hard... but I am glad because of technology that we are still able to see one another frequently... in fact more often than I did when we lived there. I have a laptop with a webcam so we use that and we can skype. It has been really nice! Glad it helps with the homesickness! Thanks for the comment. :)

Katharella profile image

Katharella 5 years ago from Lost in America

I'm glad you have that! :) I loved your story! Your family with your husband and children are your main family, but try to consider yourself very very lucky, as I'm sure you do anyway :) I don't have any family, anywhere. I'm just me. So it doesn't matter where I am, so I'm happy for others who can at least webcam and skype! :) I always feel a slight twing of jealousy for those of you who at least know there's someone out there that cares and will be there! Even on video! :) But I'm mostly happy for all who do, cos it's rather lonely when one is the only left living and friends have their own families to come first! Don't you get too homesick, cos you are home wherever your husband and kids are! :) (with or without SNOW lol) :)

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Ifs and buts are a part of life. I can relate very closely to your life story as here in India where I come from the women normally get married in a different place which is far away, to the one, their parents live in and are in the situation you describe, always. Staying away from her family is so very difficult and then she has her husband and kids, the new family which is her priority now. A real tightrope walking for the woman, I accept.

Incidently, my daughter got married 2 months' back and lives in China while we are in India and I know how she feels now and as parents we too miss her.

Cousin Fudd profile image

Cousin Fudd 5 years ago from From the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina

Home is where the heart is and where you're love the most and treated the best. Great hub.

profile image

Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Dear Barbergirl,

First of all let me thank you and your husband for your military service..God bless you both..Secondly being in the military, being raised and married in the military I understand that feeling you are writing about..We never had a true place to call home as both of us came from military families but from differnt sides of the states..We settled in Texas after my husband got out of the Army. While we have lived here the last 16 years we wonder constantly what if we had lived somewhere else. We miss snow and the four seasons. His mom lives in Calif and my folks moved here. Both needing us. As the years go by..I wonder how we will juggle taking care of our families in different states. I pray that as we age we can make the decision to move near our children without them having to worry. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story. Life has a way of taking care of itself..just enjoy your precious family and as time goes by I know you will have an answers and be able to do what you need to do..The hardest part is just missing them.

God bless,


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@rajan jolly - Thank you for your insightful comment. It is a hard situation to be in... probably even harder when it is something that seems the norm in the culture. Congratulations on your daughters marriage and I hope you get to see her every chance you get!

barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Cousin Fudd - True statement. We have lived in both places. Unfortunately my husband prefers his home and I prefer mine. It is a compromise between the two of us at all times. Unfortunately, it also means we never really let our roots grab hold. We love our home when we are there, but we like to go back and forth. Maybe one day we will just move smack dab in the middle. Glad you enjoyed this!

barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Sunnie - Thank you for such an uplifting and encouraging thought. It is nice to know someone else out there knows exactly what we are feeling. Our families I don't think truly understand how much this tears us apart. When ever we are by the other side, it seems we miss everything from the other side and vice versa. We always seem to be with the wrong family at the wrong time. I hope we never have to worry about this with our kids since we are now out of the military. Yet, they will have the same decision to make being they have family in both areas. I guess I am feeling a little homesick now because I am missing the snow and the seasons.

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Thanks barbergirl and wish you the best in life.

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I have so many what if's that go through my mind. It's hard to live away from family. When I was 14 and moved from Montreal Quebec to Southern California I thought I was never going to get used to it. But now feel it was such a great opportunity and am thankful that my dad made me up and move 3300 miles away from my friends and family. I made so many other great friends in the states.

Enjoyed your hub and can't believe I missed this one :)

barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Rajan - Thank you and you too!

barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Just Ask Susan - My parents never really traveled much so all the different moving to different states and not knowing anybody was one heck of a change. However, the older I get the harder it is to make friends, especially since I am a stay at home mom. It just seems a little creepy to pick people up at the park - if you know what I mean ;) But I definately am happy with the change of scenery because I can say I have been there - and there are so many others that can never even admit to leaving their home state. It is hard when you are raising a family, but the memories they have because of it are priceless. However, it also means they miss out on alot of memories as well. Right now my sister is getting ready for her wedding. I am standing up, but we are only really included in the ceremony. Sure, it is the most important part but it would have been nice to be involved a little more. I think that is what makes me so homesick. Not to mention my cousin is about to have his first child, my other cousin is getting married. So much is going on back home that I am missing out on.

As for you missing this - this is one of my hubs from awhile back so I am not so sure we were following each other when I first read this. I am starting to go through and fix a few things up (like add summaries and group the hubs) and I figure as long as I am there I might as well share the hub. Especially since I have doubled my following since some of these have been written. Glad you enjoyed this and could related. Sometimes it is hard feeling like you are the only one out there missing out because of your living circumstances! :)

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