Conklin: Moving, moving, moving again


Moving, Moving, Moving, Moving, Moving, Moving, Moving, Moving,

Moving, Moving again! Moving, Moving again!

We did it so often, We did it so soon, Leaving our friends, leaving our schools,

Do you remember where all we’ve been? Does the memory hurt now as much as then?

Different kitchens, different porches Different addresses to remember

Different yards to play in, too. Different neighbor kids to learn our name.

Different closets to put our stuff in Different places to play Hide and Seek in,

Did I share a room with you? Would it ever be the same?

Boxes, crates and sacks of shoes Painting, papering & putting down rugs,

Were packed every couple of years. So the houses could pass for our home.

Then put on a truck and hauled away — In time to start all over again.

Did you silently shed some tears? Did you ever get to be alone?

Jars of green beans, tomatoes and juice If you could choose just one house,

Were carefully packed all day. One place that you could stay,

Did you tell your teachers you were leaving, Which one would you choose

Or just get in the car and go away? And what would it mean for the life you have today?

I wrote the above words about all the moving that took place in our family when my siblings and I were growing up. Since we were all different ages during those moves, each move affected each of us differently.

Recently I read that the word “perched” is used for families that move a lot. Because of never knowing how long they will be in any new place, they never really commit to staying and don’t make friends or put down roots.

They just perch. When we were in the process of moving from Delaware to Marion, our mom sprained her ankle while stepping off the one and only step of the back porch.

Her sprained ankle stopped the entire move, and changed the direction our lives were heading at that time. It meant that five of us got to remain in the Delaware city schools for three more years.

My siblings and I broke the cycle of moving a lot, when we each got married. None of us moved an average of more than three times in our adult lives.

In my case, I had 14 different addresses in the first 21 years of my life, before I got married, and then have had only one address ever since.

The following question is something to think about for anyone who has moved a lot in their past. If you could choose just one house where you could have stayed, which one would you choose, and what would it mean for the life you have today?

Kay E. Conklin is a retired Delaware County recorder who served four terms. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.

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