Thinking tonight: I've lived in this house longer than I've lived anywhere else in my life, and by a long shot, but I'm not sure if this area will ever be home for me. If I'll ever be able to say I'm from here when people ask, and mean it.
Home was wherever my nuclear family lived when I was growing up, and we moved often. I have a very hard time wrapping my head around the concept of living in the town you grew up in as an adult, sending your kids to the same schools you attended and having them taught by some of the same teachers you had, although I know that's common. Happens here all the time. It's just completely alien to me, and I feel like it would be stifling to be so anchored to one spot. Almost like the sense of belonging would become a shackle sooner or later.
Maybe it's just me, though--an artifact of my upbringing. Bought corn down the road at a farm stand the other day and the kid selling the corn told me that she's part of the eighth generation of her family to work that particular piece of land. That's 150-200 years, easy, and the life of a small farmer sure isn't an easy one. Clearly her family has some strong ties keeping them near those fields and barns and stone houses. Then Thing One asked me to go help him find a cache tonight, and it was located at the edge of a secluded tiny neighborhood cemetery at the end of a dirt track up a wooded hill...you'd never find it if you didn't know it was there. The oldest graves I saw date back to the 1820s, but people with those surnames still live around here. (And all the headstones of young women gave me the willies...let's hear it for modern medicine and obstetrical practices.)
Two of my three kids were born here and the third arrived as an infant, so this is the only home they've ever known. Some days I envy them that simplicity!