If home truly is where the heart is, then I think my heart is easily split between three places – Albion, Bloomington and Evansville. I’ve already talked recently (like the last post) about why I love Evansville. Today’s blog is about Albion!
This weekend I went home. Or, I guess I should say I went to my childhood home – where my mom and step dad still live – for the weekend. It’s home, but it’s only part of my home now. Albion is where I learned about life, grew up, made friends, enemies and mistakes. Albion is where I lived from the time I was 4 until I was 19 (minus college). Albion was and will always be home for me.
The town has changed a lot – in some ways I hardly recognize the place when I go home. Familiar haunts have changed, the people are different (yet all the same – welcome to small town America), the school is different, teachers have left. I have very few friends in Albion anymore, and those I do have I don’t ever see.
But i don’t think it’s Albion that’s changed as much as it’s me who has changed. Which, I suppose, is what happens when you grow up and leave.
But, the things that haven’t changed are the familiar drive to my house, the cows in the pasture, the crumbling country roads. The willow tree in the front yard is dying, but it’s there. My house still looks like home. And, inside, there is so much love and joy that it’s just like taking a deep breath of heaven. My mom and step dad are amazing. I love them, and I love going home to do nothing more than just sit around, shop, play cards, watch TV and eat. There aren’t rules and calendars – just time together. And, it’s precious.
Like two weeks ago when we were in Evansville, I found myself this weekend longing to live closer to my family. I think part of it is just feeling complete around my family. Tim and Madison were at home in Bloomington, but had they been in Albion with me, I think I would have been content to never leave again! It’s a simple thing – the older I get, the more I want to be surrounded by my family and the people that I don’t have to be anything but myself with (pardon the poor sentence construction).