The play I just saw with Marissa in Orlando, In the Heights, I believe I mentioned was about the Latino experience living in Washington Heights (which I assume is part of NYC). Anyway, the characters romanticized about moving back “home” to their respective countries, Puerto Rico, Columbia, etc. At one point the cast and the audience were all waving flags from their homelands. I read that when the audience did that (or does that) it is very touching for the cast. They all feel this lost connection to their homeland. Not to give the plot away, but in the end they realize they ARE home, right there in Washington Heights.
Home has been a subject of this blog many many times. Am I home here in Florida or is Pittsburgh my home? In my thoughts I want Florida to be my home from now on and I think about more ways of becoming a permanent fixture. There are several things I do here to try to set some roots. Volunteering, getting involved with the kids schools, horseback riding, fighting to keep me and my new family together, these are all attempts at me digging my heart and soul into this community and feeling like I’m home. Okay now try to keep up…
Tomorrow I am coming “home” to Pittsburgh. I feel like the people in the play. Caught between two worlds. Sewickley/Pittsburgh is my “home” and what I know and where my real family is, my blood family, and Florida is my home, and my new family and where I live now. Actually it does add a bit of dimension to my life. And lord knows anyone from Sewickley needs dimension, or as we like to call it, “getting out of the bubble.”
Still, there is something about that bubble that is appealing. Down here, a thousand miles away, I have found that bubble feeling, that “home” feeling, when I am with my Sewickley friends. There’s something safe about it and something so familiar. I mean these people know you. Not that I don’t have several long time non-Sewickley friends that know me (Sandy, Barb, Jean, off the top of my head), but it’s something about the Sewickley connection, and sometimes specifically the QV connection that is so comforting.
Today, Lori treated me to lunch for my birthday. I felt so at “home.” I’ve known Lori for 45+ years. I believe I met her when she was in the 7th grade, friends with my little sister (little being all of one year behind me). It’s not like Lori and I were ever best friends, I mean not that we weren’t friends, but in Sewickley I don’t think we ever met for breakfast or lunch. I know we never did. But, down here, when we meet for our coffee, lunch or whatever I feel totally relaxed with someone I know. It’s just that there’s no need explaining who the various characters in our lives have been or how we were molded in our high school days. We both know that about each other. I love that feeling of “home.”
When I left up north for my new Uncle Wiggly adventure here in the sunshine state, I was asked several times if I would miss my friends, of which I do have a lot left behind. I admit I said no. I know, it sounds harsh. But really I was ready for a different experience. I wanted to try this relationship stuff out, and now reminded, careful what you wish for. 🙂 Nevertheless, this is what I wanted to try to experience. I jumped “all-in.” (Am I using these quotes right?) The fact that I don’t have all my friends around me I’m sure helps a\my new relationship because I have to work things out. I can’t run out and sleep on Diane’s couch or in Warren’s room. When your first response is “flight” (not “fight”) it’s best that the “flight” option is not so easy so when I calm down, it’s over, and I’m still home.
When I married Dennis, our minister said we would never make it if we stay in Sewickley. Our family ties were too invasive into our relationship. And well, obviously, that old Mike Henning was right (God rest his soul). Sometimes you just need to rely on each other and it’s easier to do that, away from home. Just ask Mary Ann. Leaving “home” is sometimes what ya gotta do.
When I see my old friends down here, when they visit, or when they call (ahem Stephanie), or when we go for coffee, I am so happy to have that connection to “home.” On the other hand, I look outside at the palm trees, the pool, hear Jorden ask “what’s for dinner” and I know I’m “home” here too. But then again,
I am so looking forward to coming “home” tomorrow. (HA!)
To know me is to love me, right? A typical day in the life of a Gemini.