West Hartford, Connecticut. Home to Noah Webster, excellent Thai restaurants, and my old house. I came back to visit that house I grew up in one last time before we sold our house last summer. Moving day felt like a movie as I walked around in each room. Old memories filled my head as I watched a younger version of myself growing up making those memories. When I went inside my brother’s room, I caught the whiff of his signature “smell”: cheap men’s Axe Phoenix spray, his extra spicy Old Spice deodorant, and the questionable scents of sweat and mildew to compliment. I saw that little worn area on the carpet from all the times he swiveled around and around on that annoying computer chair of his, pretending he was some executive businessman in his office. I crossed the hallway into my room, and although it was empty, I still could see the stains on the walls I made from throwing my milk bottle everywhere as a kid, the dent on the floor I made from trying to lift a 20-pound dumbbell, and the green stain on the ceiling I made from slime I threw around. The big window in my room was still as clear as ever, overlooking the entire Hartford county. On a clear day, you could see everything in that city of mine from my elementary school to the local grocery store, all surrounded by miles and miles of forests and territory I claimed as my own.
“Mi casa es tu casa,” as a certain singer once put it. Indeed, I do believe that my house is your house. Although the little details and experiences in that home of mine may be mine alone, I believe that these memories were only possible through my relationship with my family. Home is where family is, and no matter where you physically live, it’s the small details that make you look back and think about where your home truly is.