Sunday, June 8, 2008

Home, Old Tennis Shoes and Rain

Up until Saturday, we have experienced 5 consecutive days of grey weather. While I'm not opposed to nuetral colors, seeing the world in this hue is getting old. It rained again today-ugh. This bush, perhaps having a different agenda, looked like it was ready for the Oscars-sparkly little thing.

We spent Saturday at another graduation party. Attended this one out of family loyalty-damn the guilt-more than for the desire to wish the graduate a happy future. The party was held in our old hometown. It's funny to drive down the main drag and listen to the kids "Remember this.." stories. Both of them were born there and I suspect little miss will always think of it as home. She's told me more than once that our house where we live today still doesn't feel like home. (Though, the disaster area she calls a bedroom speaks to the contrary.)

After the party, as is customary, I asked my husband if we could drive by our old house. His usual response of, "It's not our house anymore." was instead, "Ugh, you're lucky I love you." He, too, was born here (me, the only foreigner) so his sentimentalism for this little city is always jaded. His analogy, (which is dead on), is that this place is like an old pair of tennis shoes. They're old, worn-in, and comfy but after a while they get holey, start to smell and it's time to get a new pair.

We stopped at Grandma's to use her bathroom. Little mister made a bee-line for the garage where grandma has an old bike (circa 1970) that he has dubbed the "Old-Timer" which for whatever reason, he loves to ride on. He begged to go for a walk and ride "Old-Timer" so we did. I'm sure the only love "Old-Timer" gets is from little mister-how could we disappoint it?

We often entertained ourselves walking up and down these streets, dreaming of one day moving into the gingerbread houses that grace this little town. We walked by our favorites; the little gnome house with it's manicured lawn and cedar siding complete with real wood window boxes spiling over with petunias, the huge spanish style with tile roof, the yucky house with the plaster St. Bernard that now is gone but replaced when an equally tacky owl.

All was right in the world; Little miss walked next to us and listened to our stories and added her own. Little mister, happy as a clam, on "Old-Timer" and the feel of big mister's hand in mine with the sound of his voice sans the jaded view of these streets.

We had outgrown this sleepy little town and it was time for us to move on when we did. Leaving here was good for the kids, good for all of us. But, I do miss the familiarity, the comfort. The way you knew if tragedy of any kind swooped down on your family-Paulette, Brenda, and Sandy would be on your doorstep with hotdishes for a week, hugs handed out like cookies, and an open-ended invitation to call whenever you needed anything. To go trick-or-treating and to have a complete stranger know your last name based purely on the shape and color of your child's eyes. It's weird what makes you feel at home.

I've since purchased the new tennis shoes but every once in awhile I like to put on the old pair and remember what they feel like.

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