The forever home myth

Other than being close to family and friends, my one stipulation is that our next dwelling to be move-in ready! I need to contact the Property Brothers.

… home isn’t where you land; home is where you launch. You can’t pick your home any more than you can choose your family. In poker, you get five cards. Three of them you can swap out, but two are yours to keep: family and native land.

Tayari Jones–An American Marriage
Perhaps a cabin in the woods. With running water, electricity, and WiFi, of course.


Hi, my name is Mary. I am an HGTV addict, an obsession pathologically fueled by the isolation of the pandemic. I marvel each time a decrepit building is transformed into a beautiful residence in one hour or less, reassured that anything is salvageable.

The popular HGTV twins Jonathan and Drew Scott host Property Brothers Forever Home, remodeling a much-loved house into a home suitable “forever.” Mike and I have lived together in 11 different places. Prior to marriage, each of us had two or three childhood homes. Then college. I attest: except for that heavenly mansion in the sky, there is no such thing as a forever home, a house perfect for every stage of life.


When we entered the multi-generational/family covenant seven years ago, ED insisted that we plan to stay through the boys’ college years. Having moved frequently early in her life, she wanted her boys rooted. We agreed, allowing the boys four years in college.

Not forever

The boys metamorphosed from adorable children to sulky adolescents. Blue Boy shows signs of recovery, just as Mowgli is beginning.

Meanwhile, technology and the pandemic tether the boys close to home. And ED has decided that the location of their house may not be paramount to their security as friendships are nurtured and maintained online. Once society opens up again, Blue Boy’s drivers license will allow him to go where he wants when he wants. And he can take Mowgli with him while picking up a gallon of milk.

House or home

Where are our roots? Tayari Jones’ quote referring to native land startled me initially, as I translated “home” into “house” and was then awakened by “native land.”

Native land? I have lived in Arizona for 27 years. Prior to that, Chicagoland for most of 20 years. But my home is Moline, Illinois, where I spent greater part of the first 22 years of my life. I never felt that I belonged there and never want to live there again, but my DNA is in the soil whether I like it or not. And that soil is in me, figuratively and literally, as I am reminded when I wash my knee which still holds the cinder from my fall in the alley.


Mike and I have not decided where our next home will be. We have deep roots in both Arizona and Chicago and are drawn to each. Perhaps we will be snowbirds or the politically correct winter visitors. We have no desire to emigrate to a new location, as attractive as the happiness-infused Norway is. We have moved enough to understand the difficulty of resettling.  

Other than being close to family and friends, my one stipulation is that our next dwelling to be move-in ready! I need to contact the Property Brothers.

Author: Mary Cornelius

I am an aging woman who writes three blogs.