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Home Is Where Your Stuff Is

By Sherry Harris

Davenport, Iowa

As you read this I will be flying to Davenport, Iowa to attend my fortieth high school reunion (as you may have guessed from my youthful appearance I graduated when I was five). I haven’t been back to Davenport in fifteen years and the concept of home is complicated for me. As many a military spouse will tell you—and some even have a plaque with the saying—home is where your stuff is. And my stuff has been in a lot of places! My concept of home is even more complex because my entire family moved away from Iowa years ago.

When I moved to New England it felt like home. I have no idea why, I’d never been there and certainly never wanted to move there. The things I heard before moving included: people are cold, the weather is horrible, don’t make eye contact with other drivers. The last one really puzzled me, who was driving people or piranhas?


But I fell in love with New England and found the first two things I’d heard weren’t true—an Iowa girl knows friendly and bad weather. Eventually I managed to learn to avoid eye contact with other drivers. So when I was offered a chance to write a proposal for a book I set it in the fictional town of Ellington, Massachusetts right outside the gates of the very real Hanscom Air Force Base.

In my first novel, Tagged for Death, Sarah Winston moves to New England with her husband who is in the Air Force. Through Sarah I get to share what I find magical about the area. Fortunately, unlike Sarah, our assignment at Hanscom was a lot less exciting!

The view from our house on Hanscom AFB

Have you made a new place home? Has your concept of home changed since your childhood?

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