The Importance of Home


Emma Franklin, Senior Editor

Twelve: how many houses that I remember living in. Eight: how many schools I have attended. Four: how many states I lived in. Two: how many countries I lived in. 1: how many homes I have.

By the time I was seven, I had been to nine countries. The Netherlands, Germany, France, England, Luxemburg, Belgium, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland. I barely remember parts of them. I have pictures of me in front of various monuments, statues, and palaces, all I remember is wanting to go to the zoo, and loving my “big red friend”, a large bison like animal who would lean on the fence, making it easier for five year old me to pet it. Being so young and visiting those countries left almost no impact on my life, what five-year-old appreciates culture?

What is home to everyone else? Is it the house that they grew up in, the place with the happiest memories, the location with the most family near? Home is a complicated idea for me. For the longest time I did not know what it meant. When I was asked to describe my home, I always described my parents; wherever they were was home. My houses, however, varied from place to place: a small apartment in Florida, a base style house with a broken air conditioner in New Jersey, a two story with a tiny refrigerator and a fire alarm that went off every time Mom made bacon in Germany, a tiny ranch base house with a termite problem in Arizona, the first house my parents had ever bought together with my very pink bedroom also in Arizona, to the one my family has now.

The second house my parents ever bought, after twenty plus years of marriage, is my home. No, it is not where I took my first steps, but it is the one where I learned how to walk in heels, arguably just as important. This house is the one I love.

Even after having lived here nine years, it is still weird that every three years I do not have to pack up and move. It is weird that I am graduating high school with a guy I have known since fourth grade. It is weird that I am still friends with that person because when I was growing up friends were a rare commodity. Military children all knew that we were not going to stay. It is weird that somebody other than my parents know about my favorite movies, books, and foods.

Cumming, Georgia is my home. No, it is not perfect, and no I will not defend the problems that Cumming has. I will not stay here for the rest of my life, but now, when I think of home, I see a large grey house with a brick front and two dogs in the yard. I no longer have to think about what is home. Most importantly Cumming is home because after nine years we finally unpacked the last box.