I grew up in a small town. I lived there for almost 50 years, knew every street, pretty much every person – I was related to most of them.
And then I moved. I moved to another small town.
Suddenly I didn’t know where I was going most of the time, and didn’t know a soul other than my husband. Where was the party to welcome me? Where was the marching band? Didn’t these people know that I had arrived in their midst?
Well. No, they didn’t. It was scary at first. It was kind of like having surgery and being in recovery – for months. When you’re recovering from surgery, every step, every move is hesitant. Going for groceries? Wait, let me think about how to get to the store. I got lost trying to get out of a parking lot – one of those that seems to have been built by a drunken Irishman on a three week binge. I cried in the car. I cried all the way home.
And when I got home, I realized that I was, in spite of the struggles, home.
It’s been 12 years since I moved. I still miss that small town where I grew up. I haven’t been back in years, but I still miss it. I’d spend a month there every summer if I could.