Home Is Where the Anchor Drops


The day after tomorrow I leave for Toronto to visit friends I met on a cruise a few years back, then it’s on to Montreal to meet up with a college friend and head out on the first of three fall foliage cruises on the St. Lawrence River to Newfoundland,  the Maritimes and New England.

Time to check in with myself  again.

This stay in San Diego was puzzling. I was in the city I have called home for more than half a century, staying with Dan  around the corner from my condo in the  same building, in a neighborhood I know intimately, doing things that are part of my routine, but there’s a disconnect.  It’s like I am visiting here, more than returning home.   Dan and I have had a lot of fun doing different things and just being together, so disconnect doesn’t mean discontent.  I have been happy in the present here, and that is what I most want to feel.

Maybe it’s my concept  of home that is changing.  Home, it appears, is wherever I am.  “Home,” as a t-shirt I bought somewhere says,” is where the anchor drops.” In San Diego during My Year of Living Travelly, nothing I own is in a drawer.  Clothes I don’t need stay in my suitcases, and what I might use is in a box in the bedroom.  The rest is in my storage locker in the basement. There is really almost no difference between the way I live in San Diego these days, and the way I live on ships, or between cruises in places I visit. It’s all suitcases and storage. I am totally  comfortable with that, and miss only fleetingly anything that is part of my more settled life.

But here is what is most different this time: I didn’t play tennis or golf even once.  I didn’t go to minyan at the synagogue. When Dan and I walked in the park, I didn’t pick up trash on the path, as I always have.  Those things are all part of my San Diego identity. It’s not as if I made a conscious choice not to do familiar things, it simply did not occur to me  until maybe two days ago, that I wasn’t doing them.

Am I just a visitor here now, in the place  I have called home since I was fourteen? Time will tell.  I will be back for two more short stays before I leave for five months in Asia.  I am not making even the slightest effort to project how my outlook will alter over time. Maybe I will come back  gladder than ever to have this wonderful city to live in. Maybe I will come back a hopeless vagabond. Maybe ( and the November elections will play a role in this) I may decide I don’t want to live here anymore.  I guess I will just have to wait and see.