I've drafted this post about 5 times so far, and can't really figure out what it's supposed to be about. I guess it's about seeing my BFF for the first time in over 4 years, along with a whole bunch of people who shaped my life over 25 years ago. It's about landmarks, memories and feelings.
Mostly it's about going home, and what home means.
I haven't lived there in 22 years. My parents moved away in their separate directions a few years later. But I grew up in this little community of twin towns, one in Michigan and the other in Wisconsin, separated by a river that's spanned by three bridges. Total population? Probably about 25,000 combined.
I feel like a squatter...calling this place home...especially since, until recently, I spent every minute of every day in my adult life after I moved away trying to not be from there.
A friend told me that our old house is for sale.
The years I lived in that house are so woven into the fibers of my being that I couldn't hold back tears when I looked at the photos in the online listing.
I took pre-prom, pre-homecoming and every other special occasion photo in front of the fireplace. My beloved piano made its home across the room.
The kitchen was host to many late night gatherings of friends...solving the problems of our teenage world with passionate idealism, silliness, and above all else, a deep sense of connection with one another.
I wanted to jump through the monitor and write a check for it that very minute.
I'll have to settle for a quick look from the outside, or, if the listing agent feels like indulging me (she was a very close family friend for many years), I might survive a short tour without dissolving into a puddle in the middle of the kitchen floor.
Although recent owners have made many beautiful updates, the memories still resonate from within the home's fancy new look.
Oh, the memories.I haven't been to a single one of my class reunions.
Most of the tight-knit class I graduated with were not interested in keeping in touch with me and my I'm-not-from-here attitude.
But I'm going back this weekend. Hat in hand, with grace in hopefully every step, to embrace where I'm from.