I’m going home in a couple of weeks. Three and a half weeks, to be exact.
I’m going home…
And I can’t tell you how good that’s going to feel!
It’s been about 10 years since I’ve been through Eagle River, Wisconsin. My family left the northwoods in 1985 when my DSS and I were teenagers. I think we were both heart broken when we realized that the suburbs of Chicago would really never feel like “home”. I know it was that way for me… I still never feel like anyplace is “home”… no matter how long I live there.
I think the term “home” is used a little too loosely. For me, home is where your earliest memories live. Home is where you can hear the sounds and smell the smells of growing up. Some people spend their youth moving around, following parents in the military, or those who take jobs all over the country or world. Moving every year or two. Never putting down roots. I’ve always felt sorry for them because they can’t think back to one place and equate it with those feelings… of Home.
Eagle River is my Home. All of my memories of youth live there. Climbing trees. Playing in the snow. Watching deer. Walking across the field in the fog. Riding bikes into town in the summer. Friday Fish Fry at the Charlou Supper Club. Fishing in the river. Our cousins Kenny, Kelly and Wayne watching DSS and me while our parents went out to dinner. Going to St. Peter the Fisherman School. Girl Scouts. Camp. Forts. Swimming at Eagle Lake and Silver Lake Beaches. Gardens. Stacking wood for the heat every fall. Watching my Mom can the veggies from the garden. Duke, our old German shepherd, chasing squirrels through the woods. Bond Falls. Picking apples in the upper peninsula. The snowmobile derby. Men in church every Sunday in the fall wearing their camo, with their hunting license numbers displayed on their backs…
After too many years gone, I’m going home.
My Dad moved back to Eagle River this past fall. Believe it or not, he said he got sick of the perfect sunny weather and walking on the beach every day in Florida. So he decided to head home, too. I think given the chance, DSS and I would go back if we could.
DSS and my nephew just got back last night from visiting him. We talked for nearly an hour at lunch today. She was telling me about all the changes, yet how so many things seem exactly the same. I wish we could have been up there at the same time, but my calendar didn’t work out that way. So I’m heading over there in late April for a week. I promise to share pictures and memories from the trip here on the blog. I’m almost afraid to go because I know my heart is going to break when it’s time to leave again. I wish I could make a living there, because I would move back in a heartbeat.
I’m not saying western Montana is a bad place to live. Trust me, I love waking up and looking out the window to some variation of this every morning:
But Montana’s not Home.
It never will be.
But it’s where I lay my head at night. And since my Dad moved back in November, my nightly dreams are filled with memories of growing up in the place I call Home…
Good old Eagle River, Wisconsin.