Monday, September 16, 2013

The Blue Lady Dreams of Home

The  Guardians of the Rock River in Rockford Illinois
I'm a midwestern girl, really, but it's been awhile since I lived in the midwest. Sometime during my school years I became determined to leave my dumb home town, Rockford Illinois, the second I was able to as an adult. And I succeeded. I joined the Navy. I didn't see the world, but I did learn to live in large east coast cities. I ended up living in Manhattan for awhile even ..... 76th and Broadway on the Upper West Side just above a Korean fruit market in a renovated hotel. I would tell people I was from the midwest; I never tried to hide it. But I was pretty bound and determined to become some kind of east coast person instead, whatever that meant.

Bar Harbor, Maine
After that I tried New England in the form of the state of Maine. Tried the west when I moved to Denver. And the south in North Carolina. I LOVED the state of Maine and was very sorry to leave it. One of the reasons I didn't take that much to Denver at first was that I was pining for Maine. I did wake up and smell the pinyons eventually and came to see the great things about Denver and the west.

South Dakota badlands
It was from Denver that I semi-moved to South Dakota. It took awhile for South Dakota to really grow on me, including 7 years in exile in North Carolina in the middle, but eventually I figured it out. South Dakota is a great combination of the west and midwest together..... a good fit for me.

I took a trip back to Maine about 10 years ago (really? yes, really. totally amazing, that time passing thing), and figured out that Maine was really in my past. It still is a great place that I still love, but it is not my home anymore and I don't really want it to be either.

Kanab, Utah, home of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
I've been living in Utah for 8 years now, but it was clear from the beginning that I didn't belong in Utah. There are a lot of great things about this place, but it's not my place. Never was, never will be. I may end up spending a lot of time here, but here I'm a traveling woman, the Blue Lady in the Red Lands. This was really brought home to me with this whole apartment upset. As I said, I need to stay here 4 more years, and I would just as soon have those years to be quite stable in anticipation of a lot of formal vagabonding in 5 more years.

Lately life is conspiring to remind me that I really am that midwestern girl. I finally succeeded in getting South Dakota Public Radio to able to be streamed on my computer, and I've been taking advantage of that. Did you hear that series on Marketplace on public radio about Sioux Falls? Sally T. has now moved to Michigan. Minneapolis is taunting Chicago about same sex marriage. Stories about Detroit are all over the radio. Today I heard a long radio program that featured the band Cheap Trick, some of the more famous people from Rockford. Rachael Maddow mentioned the place the other night in a story(which did serve to remind me that my hometown is a thoroughly red place too). Just one thing after another.

Anderson Japanese Gardens, one of the very best Japanese gardens in the whole US .... well worth a visit and one of the best things about Rockford
I find I kind of miss the midwest right now. I'm remembering all the good things about Rockford and the midwest as a whole. That's really my place whether I want it to be or not. But do I want to live there again? I don't know. Maybe.

I know that what I want is to have someplace small with a lock on the door and the key to the lock in my hand. When I unlock the door, I want to find my things that I like and that comfort me. I want the Smokey Rose to be there. That's enough. Home is where the cat is.
Smokey Rose tells me that I'm home when I'm with her

What's outside that locked door when I go out again? Could be lots of things. Right now it's Salt Lake City. That probably won't be forever. Home is not just a place, it's clearly a state of mind. But the place is important too. There's always something about the place that you have to call home, no matter what.

No comments:

Post a Comment