Tuesday, November 13, 2012

homecoming Queen

You can't go home.

There's no place like home.

Home isn't a place, its a feeling.

Yes. All of that. Going home, to Lansdale, this past weekend was interesting. I brought my boyfriend for the first time. I don't bring people home. My home people don't visit me in Maryland. It's like there's a line at the border of PA and Delaware that doesn't get crossed. We crossed it. I'm so glad we did.

I haven't been home in a few years. I've been homesick during that time - many times. I know I'm homesick when I dream about Main Street. Or McDonalds (in those dreams I am once again in 9th grade and sitting in a booth after school with my friends). Or being on the ice at Melody Brook. I don't have those dreams often but they still do come once in a while. They're like old friends to me.

This is the longest period of time I haven't been home in the nearly 20 years since I left. It was strange at first. Awkward. It didn't feel like home. Things had changed. Stores had come and gone. The economic situation of this country is evident there - much more so than here. It was a strange feeling - like I wanted to be there more than it wanted me there. It had changed, grown up, aged, without me. I had left it behind.

Then I had dinner with friends. Now, I have fabulous friends in MD. They are my family. I depend on them and love them with all my heart. My PA friends, many of whom I hadn't seen aside from high school reunions in 30 years, hold a different place in my heart. They know me. I used to think they saw me as the rebel, the girl who was never quite comfortable in her own skin. It wasn't until recently I realized that's not exactly true. They have the same memories I do. Their memories of me are quite different - much more positive. I don't know why it surprises me but it does. I've known Jane since I was 5 years old. FIVE YEARS OLD! I've known Chrisy and Lynne since I was about 13. Some of the other friends we saw have known me since I was my girls' age. We play the game of "remember when" and they know what I'm talking about. They know me.

Bringing Andrew home was interesting. I was nervous. It was strange letting him into that part of my world. He is from the other side of my life. Yet there he was. And it felt okay. Very okay. My girls showed him the Castle Playground. We had cheesesteaks - with sauce!!! He saw my two houses, what was left of the three elementary, two junior high and one high schools - all without complaint.

I used to want to leave Lansdale and never return. So I did. Somewhere along the line I realized that I wanted to return, at least for brief periods of time. I suppose my home really is here. in Silver Spring, as it's been for about 20 years. But Lansdale, Chelmsford (MA), and Ocean City - other places I've called home - will always have a special place in my heart.

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