I grew up in Lansing Michigan, a solid blue collar town with solid Midwestern values, and lots of water. I am the son of a Upper Peninsula hillbilly. (otherwise known as a dirt farmer) I got a call from my ex wife the other day, (yes when I have to) she fills me in on things that she thinks might be important to me. She got a call from an old friend that thought he had seen me on the street. He wondered if I was home and would I be looking for a job. She then told me of the big changes in the town since I was last there. I got on Google maps and took a look around my old home town and remembered. I remembered childhood friends I haven't seen in ten years, and old girlfriends. I remembered family that has passed on, and some that haven't, and my special places in the woods where I went to think and be close to my god.
I remember that you can't go a mile in any direction without finding a tree I planted or a basement I helped build, or the sidewalks I poured and finished with a loving hand. Both my Dad and Uncle Len were concrete people too, teaching me to sign my work with the quality I put into it. I walked to school each day on sidewalks that my uncle built, while my ex walked on sidewalks that my Dad built. My first kiss first job first love happened in that town. I've friends that mean more then life, that I met in that town.
The auto plants where we all thought we would work are gone, leaving acres of concrete and asphalt in the center of town, and the kids are driving rice burners rather then the Olds Cutlass's that we grew up with. Some of the woods that I used to roam are now houses and more. Some of us are already gone to whatever awaits at lifes end.
I had one of my best friends visit the other weekend. I met him in that town though he also doesn't live there anymore. I was proud to show him the wonderful color and warm days of fall in my home, and as we went out to eat breakfast on the shore of the lake I realised the places don't matter if the people are important to you. I have a neighbor that I love with all my heart. We do so many things together, and I think of him as my big brother. Every project I get into I know I can complete because he has my back. Every problem too, he has my back. I can't even think of a time when he won't be there next door. I love him as much as I've loved anyone, cept my wife and so this begs the question...What and where is home?
for me it is where I am loved and can love back.