Thursday, July 19, 2007

Who Says You Can't Go Home?

This is the title of a song that came out rather recently. It is a fairly jubliant song, I think they are contending that you CAN go home.

The problem sometimes is knowing where home is. I'm writing this because of something of Nemesis's recent posting. She is just saying that after a year in Cache Valley she is not really attached. I can see where she is coming from. It seems like everyone that Plantboy and I met in Texas couldn't believe we didn't want to stay there forever. We just never felt that way, but I saw more than a few bumper stickers proclaiming, "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could!"

So what makes a person love a place?

Because, unlike Nem, I love Cache Valley. I don't think I could ever live in Utah unless it was in the Valley. (For those of you unfamiliar with the area, in way northern Utah "The Valley" is Cache Valley, not Utah Valley.) I'm not sure why this is. I didn't grow up there, although my parents did. Many of my aunts and uncles and cousins are still in the area. But I don't think that is the real selling point either; there are many things about dealing with extended family that are difficult, although they have been a HUGE help to me in recent weeks, as they are to anyone in need.

I do know this. After 16 months of missionary work in Australia, I came back to a house my parents had only owned for a few months before I left into a ward with about three familiar faces. I was disoriented and confused and lonely. But when we drove through Sardine Canyon and came upon that view (there was less smog then) of the temple and the university in the center of all that beautiful snow just before dropping down into Wellsville, I finally felt home. And I knew that everything would be okay despite the fact that all my friends had graduated, and/or gotten married, and moved on.

To me, Logan is my first kiss. My first love. Tubing down the canal in the summer. Running the River Trail. Hiking to the Wind Caves. Getting caught by the UPS man while making out with Plantboy in the cooler at work. Passing notes during Evolution 560. Classes and professors I'll never forget. Roommates and neighbors who have become lifelong friends. It is where I met my husband. It is where I had my third baby. Canoeing on the Bear River. Cool summer nights watching movies outside with friends. Eating lunch out on the terrace behind the student center. Hockey and basketball games. Crushes. Being a True Aggie three times over. It is where I held three jobs I loved. It is Aggie Ice Cream. Mudding in the canyon just south of Paradise on that PERFECT day. The chair I sat in when the first real inkling of testimony hit me like a ton of bricks. Sledding down Old Main. Shopping for engagement rings. Wildflowers at Tony's Grove. Letters sent to a special address in Canyon Road nearly every month for the past 10 years. Rook and even, dare I say, poker games until four o'clock in the morning. The Old Hogi Yogi on Monday nights. Ultimate frisbee. Crying myself to sleep some nights over lost opportunities. Two fateful phonecalls before spring break of my freshman year. My endowment. My wedding.

As I look over the above list, I begin to realize what it is. This is not just a list of things I did in Logan, these are things that are a part of me. Memories so vivid and important they define me. Yes, I have made memories, wonderful memories, in other places. But my years in Logan were such a formative time that the place is inseperable from my sense of self. I never lived in Cache Valley until I was 18 years old, and I still feel like it is where I grew up.

I hope that each of you who reads this has a place like that. A place that feels like home even when you move so often you begin to wonder if you should just put everything on eBay and start over. No doubt, many of you will respond that, especially after you have kids, home just feels like wherever they are at. I will certainly not argue with that, but I think it is important to have a place that is special too.

So I guess, although my little family will be together in our cozy cottage, in many ways, I feel like I am really leaving home. Again.


Doreen said...

Gosh, you're making me homesick just reading your post. Now I'm sad that I'm leaving, and it won't even be until next year! :p

Kimberly Bluestocking: said...

I think I fall into the category of people whose home is where their family is. I've lived in three main locations in my life (four, if you include my mission to Uruguay), but as I look back I feel love for people, not places. I'm not saying one can't love both; there's just no single location that inspires such passion in me as Cache Valley does for you.

I'm glad you have a place like that.

Girly Momma said...

la verne is a place that will always be home. my family moved there when i was 4 and my parents still live there now. i'm going to be sad when they move away in a couple of years because home has such a warm feeling when you return.

Anonymous said...

Well, Bon Jovi also said that "Your Love Is Like Bad Medicine," and that "You Give Love A Bad Name." Maybe, he can go home again, but doesn't really want to.

As for me, wherever my super-duper-pooper, custom made titanium toilet is installed is where I call home. Home Is Where The Crapper Is. I wish I knew how to cross-stitch. I'd make that verse into a cute little sampler.

FoxyJ said...

We moved a lot while I was growing up, not only to different locations but also to different houses. I haven't even back to most of the places that we lived. I think right now Provo is high on my nostalgia list, because I lived there for nearly 10 years total and had a lot of formative experiences there as well.

I was also watching a movie set in Spain the other day and got really nostalgic for my mission. Maybe someday I'll get a grant and have to go do research there. That would be fun.

forecast calls for rain said...

I love Rexburg, I was saying ditto to so many of the things you said about Logan. I don't really ever miss Idaho Falls, isn't that wierd. Also flying into Utah made me homesick as well. I had so many good times there growing up, BYU, Provo, I'll always love that place.