Yesterday we were out all day, heading north to visit our hometown and my husbands family. As we drove through it reminded me of a conversation with my neighbor several years back. He was going home for his 20 year high school reunion and was explaining to me that there were 1200 people in his hometown when he was growing up. I asked him how many lived there now and he just looked at me and said "About 1200."
When I moved to my hometown as a kid there were something like 25 thousand people there. When I left there were around 40-45 thousand. Now? There are something like 100 thousand. So when I say I cant go home again, what I mean is my hometown is hard to find anymore. Some of the old things are still there, but for the most part businesses have changed hands, once busy areas of town are now dead as growth has occurred at the other end, things have been torn down and new things take their place. The roads have been widened and re-routed to accommodate traffic. It resembles my hometown in many ways, but it is also I town I don't necessarily know my way around anymore either.
My family left there years after I did, but The Hubs parent and brothers both still live there, so we get there often enough. But maybe it is the lack of anything tying me to that town that makes it seem like "somewhere else" instead of "home." Or maybe it is because every time I went there, for countless years, I would always see someone I knew every where I went. Now? I can go for days on end and run into no one I recognize.
Funny thing is that I don't really feel like the city I have been living in for the last 25 years is Home either. It is just where I happen to live.
It's a strange feeling....being rootless. The Hubs and I talk about making our way to the Pacific Northwest some day. Maybe not feeling rooted will make that possible. Or maybe, once I leave here I will realize it really was home all along.