so, i’m sitting here in SeaTac, at the Africa Lounge enjoying a 20oz Mac & Jacks – African Amber Ale.
and i’m thinking.
thinking, generally, for me, can be good or bad. there is usually no gray area in between. this trip was quite a mixed blessing.
first off, i attended an excellent conference about the future of web technologies and culture. the pointers and insight it gave me were well worth the price of admission.
second, i had some business meetings with a friend that resulted in me getting a few new clients. that was absolutely positively worth the cost of the trip.
third, third is where it gets interesting. i got to see a lot of interesting stuff in Oregon that i hadn’t seen before. i would have really rather shared them with my wife. on the first night of my visit, i asked her for some discipline & license by saying: “i can either enjoy this trip, and all it has to offer, or i can mope around because you’re not with me and not have any fun.” it was a specious question, of course. but it plays into point 4:
fourth, i went to see our old house in Everett. now, i thought this would go one of two ways: a.) he (the new owner) would have razed the front yard that we worked so hard on planting, and i would have been devastated. and so would carrie, who did the bulk of the aforementioned hard work.
or, i would have confirmed that he (the new owner) left the front yard to flower for the full season, fully enjoying the careful planning that went into planting the specific plants chosen in the specific areas (again, my wife’s forethought for the above).
i can gladly say, that the later was true. in fact, he took an un-utilized area of the side yard and added another planter, which looks like it contains vegetables.
at this point, i came pretty close to losing my composure. something i haven’t really done… since the day we left the house to move back east.
after four, the points all blur into one sentiment.
fifth – i drove around in our old neighborhood, and our old old neighborhood. i observed what changed; a new strip mall here, a new building there, they finally finished this project, they finally painted that local store. and it suddenly dawned on me:
it doesn’t matter. none of it does. i don’t live here anymore. i don’t shop at those new/old stores, i don’t drive by these new/old places. i don’t have to keep a mental inventory of what goes on and what doesn’t.
it’s interesting to see projects completed (like the almost-completed highway project that we’ve been living with for the past several years). but i need to repeat: i don’t live here anymore.
this led to a lot of ambiguity and weirdness this past week. everything felt familiar. except — it shouldn’t. this is not my hometown. it should feel foreign. except, it felt more familiar than the town i live in currently — which i have never lived in for all my life, and has never felt like home to me.
my “home” in my mind at least, was still Everett, WA. and now it’s not. Manchester, NH, hasn’t ever felt like “home” to me. because it’s not. i’m not sure what does/will.