It Will Always Be Home
*Note this entry is from my previous blog’s archives (Mobile Mommy)
Aug 3, 2010 9:07 PM
Pack some snacks, packs some drinks, don’t forget the bug spray and sunscreen. Do we have a picnic blanket? Is the truck full of fuel? Okay, I guess we’re ready. Well, except actually getting everyone settled in the truck. And telling the 2yo that NO he may not play with “mommy’s iphone”.
Finally, driving down the highway. At first it’s just an ordinary day…an ordinary drive. It’s not exactly uncommon to have to climb into the vehicle and head out for a few errands, or to go to the park. This time though, we were heading somewhere a little further away. Past the next town and past the first few farmers’ fields. Each kilometer traveled is a little bit of stress sliding off my shoulders. More fields, signs for tiny towns and lakes, and a lonely stand-alone gas station. The turns take me back in time, to the years when I lived in the small town that is my destination. And even more, to the first couple of years after we left, when we went back almost every weekend and I still felt like someday it would be my home again.
I love this drive, I love the space and the trees that line the highway. I love it especially in summer when the sky is blue and the canola fields are bright yellow. We drive and two boys play ipod games, while the little one eventually gives in to naptime dreams. The music blares and we sing along. Even while singing, I feel my creativity start to flow, there is something about all that open space that helps me to think and imagine and wonder. And then we arrive in town, over the bridge, past the golf course and the Co-op. Past the spot that used to be a great park and instead is now a 24 hour IGA.
This town has not been home again since the summer when I turned 13, but it will always be home in my heart. There is no one spot in the town that is of particular importance. I must have lived in 10 or so houses in this town. Admittedly, the little wonderful green and white house that was my grandmother’s holds a special corner of my heart, but even it has long since been taken over by another family. But there, right there, is where I held hands with my first boyfriend. And there is the street I walked down to go to catch the bus to kindergarten. There are new owners and different baked goods, but that is still the bakery where I loved to buy a chocolate chip cookie every chance I could. And that is the park where my little sister kicked out one of my baby teeth on the monkey bars.
Small towns sometimes seem frozen in time. There are changes but they lurk more below the surface, in the kids growing up and having their own families, in the stores that close or change ownership, but Starbucks hasn’t staked out a claim yet and Walmart is an hour’s drive away in the “big city”. If you try to skip school there is still a good chance of your grandma’s friends will see you and report to her.
Sometimes I wish we had stayed in that town that holds my heart. Usually I’m grateful for the fresh start given when we moved to the city for my mom to go to school. What would my life have been if we’d gone back after all? I sure don’t know, but I know that I loved it enough that I often picture retiring there, so I can bowl with the senior’s league and go to morning coffee, just like my grandma still does. And that’s how I know, even if I never go back, it will always be my home.
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