Assignment 2.2: Home
Write a short story that describes your sense of home and the values and stories that you use to connect yourself to your home:
A photo of me catching my first fish two summers ago in the Prince Rupert Harbour.
For many people, home is not a place but a feeling or a multitude of places. For me, home is definitely a place. I was born and raised in Prince Rupert, B.C. which is located on Kaien Island on the Northwest coast of British Columbia. Though I currently do not live in Prince Rupert, and am not planning on going back (besides a visit here and there), I have a difficult time associating home with anything else.
Home is where my family is, where I grew and became close with my best friends, and where I met my future husband. As I was talking to my fiancé the other day, this assignment popped into my head as I was telling him a story about my childhood. I was telling him about the playground at the elementary school behind my house, and how even though it was one door down, my sister and I would dread whenever we had to bring our little brother along. I then started talking about the things we would do at the park: play tag, play “House” in the small clearing of trees next to the playground, and ride our bikes around the school pretending to be police officers with our Walkie-Talkies strapped to our handlebars. My childhood memories are filled with being outside, playing with my siblings and hanging out with my friends. Being a small town, almost anything you wanted to do was in walking distance, and it was safe for children to be outside until dark playing with their friends, not going in until my mom yelled off the back deck that supper was ready. I couldn’t go anywhere (and still can’t) without people saying “Hey, aren’t you Jen’s daughter? Wow you look like your mom!” or without anything I do getting back to my parents one way or another. At the time, small town living was frustrating and I couldn’t wait to get out and be anonymous. However, having lived in Vancouver for the past three years, sometimes I miss the chit chat and recognition that I grew up with.
The ocean is another characteristic of Prince Rupert that I associate with home. My dad has worked on the water his whole life, and now as I spend my summer in Prince George (in Central Northern B.C.), with no ocean in sight, I miss it. I guess being on the ocean was just so normal that I took it for granted as a kid. In the summers when it was nice, we would go across the harbour to what we called “Sunshine” and have a fire on the rocky beach. We would roast hot dogs, marshmallows, play on the rope swing that was there, and go swimming. These days comprise some of my fondest memories of home. I remember one day in particular, there were probably a hundred red and pink Jellyfish that had washed onto the shore. My siblings and I were ecstatic and immediately made a B-line for the hundred or so creatures that coated the beach. We spent the whole afternoon poking them with sticks, careful not to touch the tentacles. As Finding Nemo taught us, the tops will not sting you. However, it seems we were not careful enough because sure enough, our hands were on fire. I was so confused, I thought we had been so careful, but alas we were not experts on Jellyfish anatomy and the result was painful. I remember running to the water to soak our hands, hoping it would numb the stinging; it eased the pain a little bit, but for the rest of the day we steered clear of the jellies.
I could go on and on with stories about my home town and my many adventures there. It’s where my roots are, and where (at this point in my life) most of my memories have been made. It is, and probably always will be, the only place I will truly be able to call home.