My friend Amy blogged about missing her hometown this time of year. Got me thinking about what I missed about my hometown, which segued into thinking about what I missed about all the cities I've lived in.
Geneva, New York is my hometown. I miss the historic row houses on Main Street. I miss the ethnic diversity, like the Italian men lingering outside the bocce court downtown. I miss watching the ever-changing colors of Seneca Lake. I miss the lonely farmhouses with their widow's watches on Route 14. I miss the never-changing neighborhoods and the lack of new houses and subdivisions. Sidewalks and big old houses. Beans and greens at Uncle Joe's Pizza place. Authentic Italian food. Cold nights and cool days. Working on the orchard. My parents.
Johnson City, Tennessee--where I went to college and married. I miss a lot about JC. Buffalo Mountain right there. Being nestled in the mountains. Poor Richard's Deli. My best friend. The small world of Milligan College.
Oxford, Ohio--where we lived for 3 years while Randy did his master's at Miami University and where Jesse was born. Hmmm. I can't say I miss much about Oxford, except being able to walk everywhere. And being close to Cincinnati. I'll have to skip the missing on this one!
Ames, Iowa--where we lived for 5 years while Randy and I were in graduate school and where Laurel was born. I miss the city itself. The parks and the sidewalks. I miss being able to walk downtown and to the library. And the abundant lilacs. The city was smothered in lilacs. And our friends.
But it's hard to miss any place when we are living our dream. I look out one window and see dogwoods lining our backyard and the flowerbeds a mass of green ready to explode into colors. I look out another window and see azaleas bursting like saucy debutantes. I look out another window and see the mountains, blue in the early afternoon, and violets sprinkled on our lawn. In Iowa and New York, winter is just leaving. Here the freckles are popping out already and we're breaking out the sleeveless shirts. If I could just find a lilac that thrives in the south, I'd be in paradise.