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I've lived in nine different cities and towns in my life. Except for the first one, where I grew up, I moved to all of them on my own. Two years was the shortest time I lived anywhere; twenty years was the longest.

I have had varying degrees of success in making each new residence a home. It isn't easy; it takes time and it takes people. The main thing that makes a house a home for me is feeling that it is is mine. When I fill it with my personal possessions, when it feels natural returning there, when I have been there long enough to feel comfortable and fully settled in. But what makes a new city a home is when friends become family. I can make new friends pretty easily, but the transition from friends to family takes a while. 

That's why, I think, most of us talk about going home when we return to a place we have lived before. Whether it's our biological family or the family we have chosen along the way, visiting them feels like going home.

Last month I went back to Seattle for the first time since moving to Mexico. It definitely felt like going home. But while I was there, I started to realize that my home is no longer there. Perhaps it's a simple matter that I no longer have a physical space of my own in Seattle. I had two very special and gracious hosts who gave me a place to stay. And I had many friends, members of my chosen family, I got to see. It was a delightful visit.

But it was a visit.

And now I am back home.

I have an established routine here. I have a lot of activities to keep me busy. And I enjoy my free time, time for reading or writing or watching TV or listening to the radio or taking a nap. I have a house here that is increasingly feeling like my home. I am filling it with my personal art and photos and knick-knacks. But most of all, I have begun to have the feeling that my friends here are becoming my new family.

It's good to be home.

My living room is acquiring a personal character.

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