Monday, October 12, 2009

W470 Oakwood Beach Road

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.



Wicked Witch of the West said...

Enjoy yourself. And take your "I'm-not-from-here" attitude with you. You are not "from" anywhere. You are you and are whereever you are.

On the other hand, some people never have the chance to "be from" anywhere because they never had the chance to stay in one place long enough.

So, go enjoy your old acquaintances live (instead of FB) - you will have a blast!

Cath said...

What a gift to have been given a glimpse into the real rooms that comprised your childhood home. They say you can never go home again. Perhaps that's true, but thanks for giving us this sense of yours, and enjoy your reunion with your past through your new eyes on the world.

Susan R. Opel said...

Oh dear, this got me so weepy. There's no place like home...

BusyDad said...

Wow - so very cool. I grew up in three different houses back in Boston, and every time I go back I try to drive by at least one of them. That "takes you back" feeling is so real indeed.

Debbie said...

It's always sad to see your childhood home sold. I lived through that and it was very tough. Good luck.

Unknown said...

I always go back to the home I was raised in and just drive by. Isn't it funny how were drawn to the places where we grew up? And I always get tears in my eyes...All those wonderful memories....

Anonymous said...

I dont know you but I an feeling the same way you feel when you saw your old home in the real estate listings. I have the beach in front of my old home on my monitor, the tide is out but I can "hear" the waves and the seagulls in my memory!! I am like you and really would like to magically get the cash to hand over to that person that is selling my house in Nova Scotia, Canada.