I grew up in Western North Dakota, where I am visiting this week--with a couple of my sisters, my mom and stepdad, my dad and stepmother...
When I go home, I usually stay at my mom's, the house I grew up in. This is where I sit, typing, now on her little Mac (sidebar: I love Mac computers). We have just finished supper of baked salmon, fresh greenbeans, fresh cucumbers in sweet sour cream sauce, potatoes with butter, and vine ripe tomatoes and basil from the garden.
It's funny coming home, even now. I get bombarded with all of these thoughts...like how everything and nothing has changed in the town, how tall my youngest nephew is, and how he sits and makes gestures when he talks which remind me of his dad (my sister's husband--we all went to high school together). I look down the street I grew up, and the houses look pretty much the same, and walking over to my dad's condo, I see two church signs with major spelling errors or grammatical errors, but no one seems to care. I sit and talk to my twin and we remember how although her son takes Algebra in 8th grade, we had it in 9th grade, and my algebra teacher actually dated my stepmother before she married my dad, but I didn't know that until today, when my stepfather told us that. We laugh about the coolness of "Hash" jeans...the only jeans to wear when we were in high school. When I got up this morning, my mom was hand crushing walnuts to make zucchinni bread--from scratch, zucchinni from the garden, and this afternoon, I ate a slice that melted in my mouth, as I remembered the music teacher who gave my mother the recipe.
Oh, and the pictures. Of me as a wrestlette, and the wrestling team (wrestlettes took the stats at the games) and me with the women's basketball team, as the team statistician. How ugly my glasses were! And then, tucked all over the house, photos of my nephews and other grandchildren, photos of different stages of my early adult life, as a youth leader, teacher, a picture from my ordination that I don't even have....plus all of the other things to look at--the pile of my stepfather's ties hanging in the sewing room, the pottery I have given my mother to use, but instead sits on shelves next to depression glass and old crockery jars.
The air is blue and breezy and smells like wide open spaces, outside. Tomorrow I will drive out to the country with my dad in his big ass ford pickup with the leather seats, to visit an old Ukrainian 7th day adventist church that my great-grandfather was the pastor of. We will go to either Gramma Sharon's or the truck stop to have lunch--or maybe MacDonalds.
Everything and nothing is changed here. It's home. My roots.
It is bittersweet and gorgeous all at the same time.