If you lived in the city, and heard gunfire on and off for a few years, about a half mile away, and then one day it came ridiculously close to your house, your first reaction may be an intense desire to move. Mine was!
A few hours after the police-bullhorn-gunfire incident, my husband walked in from work. Three steps inside the door, he was greeted with: “Joe. We gotta move.” As he listened to my story, I knew his brain was tallying the time and energy spent on renovating this old house we’d bought four years earlier. But that wasn’t his main objection. These were: “Suzy, we don’t have the money to make a good move right now. And where would we go that’s safer? Besides, this is our home, dammit!”
Uh oh. My ears were hearing Stand Your Ground talk. I was in the presence of a man who refused to be intimidated.
Joe grew up on a farm in western Pennsylvania. His family, like many generational farmers, are independent, resilient, hard working, and proud of their labors. They don’t move ‘cause things get hinky. These people put down taproots and are hard to transplant.
But I was torn. I get the noble (or defiant?) idea of staying put, about not being scared off. I get the idea of defending our home and labors if need be. Suburban Suzy, however, was mentally packed up and relocating to a cool, shady zip code.
Alas, we stayed. Together we chose to square off with the risk of burglary and home intrusion. We’ve added tremendous value to this old house—it’s stronger now than it’s ever been. And in the process, so am I. One could say that that’s what my book is about, a journey of strengthening one’s home and self.