Home is one's birthplace ratified by memory. - Henry Anatole GrunwaldHome is an odd concept to me of late. The town in which I spent the most a lot of childhood and my adolescence will always be my home - even now that I’ve lived away from there almost as long as I Iived there. What’s strange is that the structure that houses all my worldly possessions, husband and two boys still doesn’t feel like home – even after two years.
Needing a dose of home, we loaded up the Ford Edge to the brim with 2 adults, 2 kids and 2 (of 3) dogs and headed to Arkansas. This is a town where, despite the best efforts of some, nothing significant ever seems to change. When you get within local radio station range of town, it’s as if you’ve entered a time warp. Stations that used to play Top 40 or new country now play classic rock and old country. We arrived in town late one night. We’re driving on roads that are as old as they are familiar and the songs from the radio are from 20 years ago. I felt like I was 18 again and husband was bringing me home from a date. A glimpse of the two sleeping kids in the backseat and I was back in reality.
On this trip I did get an opportunity to visit with old friends. Most, OK all, haven’t changed. And I wouldn’t want them too- haven’t changed other than most weigh a little more and the men seem to have less hair. Reliable best friends are still just that. And I need to stop believing that those fair-weather, flaky friends will ever change.
I received some comments about my age. We’re eating an egg casserole for breakfast one morning and my mother in law says, “This was the casserole that was served at the brunch you had before your wedding all those years ago.” (“All those years ago” – really???)
She later applauded me for “Having children later in life….”
Then my mother informed me it was time to use wrinkle cream. I think I mixed a drink after that one.
We got to escape to Texas for a couple days. We left the big boy with the grandparents and took the baby boy with us. Reasons for this are 2-fold – big boy would hinder my “sit-in-the-hot-tub-and-drink-Prosecco-time” and the grandparents tend to hold baby boy all the time, thus ruining any sleep training I’ve managed to impart.
Change is the only constant down there. There were many new buildings and changes to the town. I relished the traffic and speedy driving. We were able to see many lovely friends on our quick visit. What still bothers me is who was missing. A good friend is sick and is very much fighting for her life. All this unfolded during our time there and did cast a pall over the visit. I went to see her in the hospital. I know she’d probably rather spit nails than have me see her looking less than stellar, but I’d come all this way to see her and a hospital was a small impediment. I left encouraged about my favorite girl from South. She was wearing eye makeup and had a fair amount of sass. The world short on good girls from the South like her, so I have faith she’ll pull through.
It was a great time at home all told. I really needed to be around old friends with inside jokes and tales of past exploits to recount and exaggerate. When I think about my home in Arkansas and my home in Texas, this song always comes to mind.