“home” doesn’t always mean just where you heart is…

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as we arrive into the terminal at Portland International Airport (PDX), we step off the plane, see that familiar blue/green carpet and feel at home. the only problem is-we have no home here or really anywhere at this moment in our lives.

relationship blog fall foliage in portland oregon travel blog

blue skies in Portland should always be overly cherished.

we drove down memory lane (yes, you can actually drive on that) through the streets of downtown Portland where we used to live. i actually felt a whole lot sadder than i was anticipating when we drove past our first apartment together.

it made me sad to think that even if i busted down the doors and got inside our old place, none of our worldly possessions would be there to welcome us home. no white boards on the wall for my husband to write his speeches, no world map in the bedroom and no pictures of our family and friends hanging on the walls.

i also found myself in shock that the city continued on without us. new stores on corners, buildings torn down and the building we watched being built for the past 2 years -held it’s grand opening without us.

it hit me that we don’t have a home. yeeeeees, i know “home is where the heart is” and i feel so blessed and happy that i get to be doing all this with my husband by my side because he means the world to me and i love him dearly. but a tangible, real space is what i’m also in need of. we don’t have a place to call our own and while it’s fun to be seeing and exploring new places, humans-particularly me, need a nest. a place where you can find solace. a place where you can choose willingly to wear pants or not wear pants. a place to eat a bowl of cereal that doesn’t cost $7. a place to call home. we are lacking that right now and it’s tough.

we know that we will again make a home for ourselves, but it’s hard to know that it won’t be for a few more months or even where that will be.

part of us really wants to be back in Portland but we don’t want to feel like we are going backwards or searching for the life we once had here. the winters here are also really difficult for my mental health and unfortunately 8 months of rain and dreariness (much like the photo below that we ran into on our drive out of Eugene), is hard on me.

relationship blog portland oregon fog picturepart of us also wants to be somewhere in Colorado so that if and when the time comes to procreate (remember, women and families have the choice whether to have kids or not-not a requirement) i want to be near my family. also, Colorado has over 300 days of sunshine, even if some of those days it’s negative 2 degrees below zero and your snot freezes.

we have more soul searching to do and are working on ways to figure out how to make our life on the road a bit more stable for this sometimes unsteady wife. life is certainly about the journey, isn’t it?

the new wifestyle: it’s okay to not always feel 100% happy, even when you are doing neat things. work to figure out  your balance.

1) what is your favorite part about your home (besides the people that live in it)?
2) where have you seen the prettiest fall?
3) what do you do when you feel off balance in order to get rebalanced?

ps. you can read about my husband’s feelings of homesickness while we were in portland here.


  1. Heather Hawkins

    October 19, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    1) All Aiden’s toys everywhere. Its also the thing that bothers me the most. But when they are all put up and you can see the vacuum lines on the carpet, you at least know who lives there.
    2) I do like a Kansas City fall.
    3) I sleep if possible, or I drink something warm with my eyes closed. If I really need to cry but can’t, I go take a shower. Because anyone who is on the brink WILL CRY IN THE SHOWER! If I just need to feel sane, I vacuum. I vacuum the crap out of the place!

    • chelsea

      October 21, 2013 at 12:40 pm

      that’s so sweet but i could see both sides of loving that and having toys every where drive you crazy too! ohh i bet fall in kansas city is lovely! showers do often help with balancing me out too and maybe i should go ask the cleaning people to borrow their vacuum and try that out! thanks heather 🙂

  2. Paula Howley

    October 19, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Chelsea, this experience is a blessing for you in so many ways. You are experiencing the psychological effects of homelessness without the typical physical effects (frostbite, beatings, fear of robbery). This is what refugees all over the world feel like, and you have the privilege of having a glimpse into it but again, without the danger of rape, hunger or mob violence. This experience will make you much more empathetic than you already are. A true blessing to those you know and have yet to know.
    Before you even mentioned Colorado, I thought that would be a great place for you to go whether you procreate or not. I have heard amazing things about it from Mr. Money Mustache.
    You can live there like a queen and the precious sun will be shining most of the time – so important for your mental health. If I ever moved to the States I’d probably go there myself. Believe me girl, I empathize living in the Pacific Southwest of Canada- you can tell when people are about to snap because of the lack of sun.
    I wish I could give you a hug but instead I will encourage you to remember the many blessings in your life. Your health, your education, your family and your husband. You may not have a home but you do have a guaranteed warm bed and relatively healthy food. Focus on the positive honey. there is so much of it. May God bless you and comfort you in your genuine sorrow. HUGS
    1. My favourite part of my home is my bedroom. I like sitting up in my bed and reading. I like the rich colours with which it has been decorated. In the summer, I like my swing outside and love to do my writing on it.
    2. Sault Ste. Marie Ontario and Michigan. SPECTACULAR.
    3. Good question. I try to pull back and look at myself objectively. I also pray and I also ask my husband for help.

    • chelsea

      October 21, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      i think you are right paula and how lucky i am to not have all of those atrocious things at the back of my mind or my reality while going through this. how terrible. i actually hope i do not become more empathetic because i fear my empathy levels are already dangerously above normal! 🙂

      yes, i so miss colorado and feel so thankful i did get to spend 22 years there…perhaps i shall go back who knows where we will end up! thanks for your kindness paula-i appreciate it immensely.

      and you have a swing outside?! amazing. thanks again paula!

  3. Corinne

    October 19, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    It can be so difficult when you’re not sure what you’re’ doing, where you’re going etc. We are a little the same at the moment – there are so many choices in front of us, but we’re just not sure which option would be best. Got to just pluck up the courage and take one I think.
    I can completely empathise with needing the sun on a regular basis to keep your mental health. Tasmania is cold, but it does usually have quite a bit of sun (or maybe I’m just thinking that because yesterday was beautifully warm? haha).

    • chelsea

      October 21, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      corrine i think you are totally right with “plucking up courage and take on” option-so scary but probably right. we also talk about how there is no ‘wrong’ decision…we learn from everything so nothing can really be wrong. Tasmania-i’ve always wanted to visit there and now i want to even more that it has a lot of sun!!

  4. Richard Bryans

    October 20, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    1. Our current home has a very open concept in both the up-stairs and down-stairs. The openness gives us lots of room to stretch out and be but we also have our rooms for alone time (granted the boys share one room, the girls share a room and the parents share one too.)
    2. I was on the north shore of Lake Superior. At the top of Look-Out Mountain in Cascade State Park.
    3. Running allows me to have time to meditate and put things in perspective.

    • chelsea

      October 21, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      thanks for your comment richard-love the open concept it sounds like your home embraces! wow-i hear cascade state park is lovely so i would imagine fall there is grand! i agree with the running…i had a chance to run along the beach yesterday and it did give me some peace and gorgeous scenery!