After several years of moving, my definition of "home" has evolved into "Home is where you know which grocery store to go to." If I am on vacation, I could care less where the grocery stores are. If I need to eek out a life for me and my family, even for a short time, I do need to know which grocery stores have what I need/want. Grocery shopping inevitably mean cooking. Cooking means doing dishes, wiping down counters and cabinets, taking out the trash, and sweeping/vacuuming. Definitely NOT a vacation.
(This is also why I have become very resistant to "vacations" involving camping, timeshares, or apartments/rentals. They are infernal, diabolical lies! Lies, I tell you!)
For a while, getting meals on and off the table is all that we do. But at some point, something just clicks and I start doing more than just subsisting. I start making things that I could buy or things that can't be bought, at least the way I really want them. Now, don't get me wrong...it's never anything complicated. But I open up to doing something MORE.
At various times in life, this has meant different things. When the kids were little, I made baby food for a short time: nothing complicated, just steaming veggies, pureeing them and freezing in an ice tray to thaw later. That was only necessary until I knew they were not allergic to the basics, and then baby food simply became whatever was on my plate, mashed with the back of my fork. A few years later, I dabbled in sourdough, but soon we were practically drowning in pancakes and muffins to use the extra batter that was constantly being produced. It was like that scene in the Magician's Apprentice where Mickey is fighting a flood of water that keeps coming...but only sourdough and more sourdough (oh, but they were amazing pancakes and muffins). Then I discovered Nourishing Traditions and my countertop became home to jars for brewing kombucha, separating whey, and lacto-fermenting sauerkraut (I am REALLY good at just letting things rot on my counter. It's probably my gift, and now I could do it INTENTIONALLY! What a world!).
Coming back from overseas and the nomadic drama and trauma that followed, the focus has been on recovery. The way we've embarked on our new life has been slow and anything but deliberate. So when I decided to buy a bag of almonds and make my own almond milk for my dairy-allergic family, I thought about how I could soak them to get rid of the phytic acid, and it wouldn't have junk like carageenan or added crud vitamins, but it didn't feel momentous. It wasn't until I was straining the fresh milk that I had slipped into doing what I do when I am really and truly home, as opposed to someplace I am just staying for a while.
And it was pretty cool.