Packing Home

Yesterday’s blog prompt asked what you might bring if you only had limited space but were leaving for a year long adventure. (An Ounce of Home). 

I really struggled with this idea. Everything I thought of had unexpected leftovers attached. Is any one item ever “just home” or do they all have a string of secondary memories attached to them? Here are some things I evaluated:

~I have a blue blanket that I throw in my bag whenever I’m headed out for the weekend. I’ve had it for 7 years. It’s just the right size, weight, softness to allow for some comfort. I like having my own blanket because I know I’ll have what I like. In my tent I use it when I don’t want to be all the way covered by my sleeping bag. Sometimes it makes a great pillow. Sleeping on someone’s couch requires nothing more than this simple blanket. All in all, it works out pretty well to have it around. BUT… I got it just before my failed marriage began. It was a wedding present. It became a source of comfort throughout the struggling marriage and after. It has soaked up numberless tears and heard many, many screams. While I love this wearing thin blanket, it has too much history. A new adventure would require less history. I have also come to feel that bringing my own blanket and pillow to another person’s house may be questioning their hospitality. Am I suggesting that they might not be able to provide for my comfort needs? I would hate to bring that kind of assumption with me. 

~A family photo? I could definitely pack a wallet size or bigger photo of my family. I enjoy telling people about my crazy family and the eclectic bunch we are. It would be small, flat and lightweight. Sounds like something lovely to pack. BUT… Does this picture bring too many questions? Would I constantly be answering all of the Who, What and Where parts of coming from such a crazy bunch? Is this a problem? What if something happened to the picture? Would I be upset if I forgot it somewhere? I also realized that I haven’t even put a picture like this in my cubicle. I’ve been here for 8 months and don’t have a picture in sight. Doesn’t seem like a picture holds the value for me that others have. 

~A Bible. Sure, this would be a lovely travel companion. I love to study the Word, read it, digest it. I’m sure it would bring me comfort on a long trip. BUT… A Bible would be a personal belonging, I don’t necessarily associate it with home. I don’t have just one specific Bible that is sacred and important to me. I am fairly certain I could find one along the way if I felt the need. I also have apps on my phone, computer and tablet to fill this need. 

~I don’t have any special trinkets from home. There are plenty of things my mom keeps around that I would love to see. But none that I want to carry with me. 

~I appreciated this guy’s idea. ( My grandfather had a clock that always makes me think of him. Small table clock that folds up into itself. That might be nice. But why do I need to feel constrained by time? I was always a watch wearer. In high school and the start of school I was a nervous wreck about being everywhere on time. If I didn’t have a watch on my left wrist, I would be lost all day! But midway through my freshman year I was challenged with my need for promptness. I realized that I had been missing out on the opportunities for compassion, community and care that I valued so highly. I would pass by a friend in need so that I could be on time (or early) to whatever it was I thought I needed to be at next. Not putting on a watch was hard at first. But I was rewarded in so many ways. I had honest, intimate encounters on a regular basis that I might have missed otherwise. Friendships blossomed and I felt so much freedom. I still value being on time, but there is always a clock to find. Between wall clocks, computer clocks, cell phones, etc. why do I need to have one pasted to my wrist. I broke the shackle of time constraint over a decade ago and I’m happy not to look back. 

~A favorite water bottle. Lots of people have one of these. If you know me at all, you know that I am a bit of a snob about having my glass water bottles with me. I would probably bring at least one, but I consider this a personal item rather than something to remind me of home. BUT… I’m not sure I care to have one. Part of the adventure might be finding new water bottles, or trusting that clean water will be available when necessary. 


I guess the problem here comes down to what part of home I want to be reminded of. I am struggling with the definition of “home”. Is it the house where my parents and siblings live? Is it my parents and siblings themselves? Is it where I find my identity and self? 

Maybe I am just not sentimental enough for this question. I hold what I want to hold deep within my heart and mind. The people I have loved, the places I long for, the experiences I’ve had. I don’t take many pictures and I don’t like looking at ones I have taken. The parts of me that are worth remembering don’t need a physical reminder. They are deep within me.

No need to be reminded of home when I’m living in it no matter where I roam. 

See you out there!


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