Monday, September 21, 2015


While cleaning out my old nightstand, I came across a key. It was shoved in the the back of a drawer of a nightstand that I hadn't looked in in over a year. I couldn't think of what it was to, but only for a moment until a rush of emotion came over me and I realized that this was the key to my home.

My grandpa's house was across the street from a sea cliff overlooking the beach in San Clemente.. I didn't realize at the time that this place, smelling of ocean air, old wood, and 1970's shag carpeting, was my safe place.
My dad would pick my sister and I up every other weekend and, for me, it was like being transported a world away from my life of school, homework, arguments with my sister, and every day life. Even after I turned eighteen and my dad didn't need to take us on the weekends anymore, I still drove down there a lot to see my grandpa; sometimes cousins would be visiting from up North, sometimes it was just my grandpa or my dad, sometimes I'd bring a friend along.. no matter what, "The Ark" was always there for me to go home to for most of my life.

I've lived in seventeen different homes. Whether it was with my mom, my dad, with friends and family, or on my own, I've been a gypsy all of my life with dreams of settling down in one place. When I stumbled upon the key to my grandpa's home, I was reminded of the hope I had for my own stable future and now my families.

I am often envious of Rory's childhood; he had one home to rest his head at night. The 1950's track home he moved in to at six months old is still the one his parents reside in almost forty years later. Nearly forty years of the Christmas tree in the same spot, opening presents in the same living room, memories made under the same roof. I look back on my childhood and see my moms hardships, one Christmas at mom's and another at Dad's, clothes in a suitcase... always feeling unsettled.

I take all these memories of mine.. the moves, the traveling on the 405 for hours a month, the leases and hopes for a longer stay in the next place, the stability of the Mellin home on the other side of the valley, and strive for a more stable life for my kids. I cherish the home we're in now that I love, that Rory loves and that Logan even loves (she calls this rental her "beautiful home"); this will always be our home where we became a family of four, where we grew in our marriage, as parents, as people. I hold on to the hope that we can build memories in this home for many years and can one day buy a home of our own that our children and grandchildren can come back to for the rest of our lives.

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