Monday, May 16, 2011
Most people consider going home the city in which they were born or raised..I consider going home to the place I started my family and grew roots..I remember the first day I went into the local grocery store..lost and looking like I was a traveler stopping for supplies on my desert hike. The checker smiles and asks where I am headed to..I replied "Here..we just moved here last night"..HERE she said loudly..."WHY do you have family here?"
You see I had just moved to a very small population yet HUGE land mass of a county 131 miles from any other city..Harney County, OR ..more precise.. Burns, Oregon (look it up on a map..you will see!) I said "No my husband transferred with NAPA and we have a small baby"..still looking puzzled she said "OH"
In this small community I began to grow roots...I raised my child, had a second baby, found a church, a group of friends..and began to realize family isn't always by blood or marriage yet by relationships. My first experience of living in such a community came within 6 mo. of living there, my baby became very ill and Lifeflight was on standby..I remember feeling so alone with family over 5 hours away..I called the minister of the small church we had been attending, that Saturday night, to ask him to put Cory and I on the prayer list..I need as much as we could get! He did more than that..John and Ruth showed up after services the next day and every day after for a week, the congregation brought meals, Grandma Linda and Desi came and held him so I could go home and shower, Elmer and his wife brought a beautiful blanket and prayed with me..the list goes on...and I felt safe..I felt home.
I was apart of the community and volunteered, was a part of the MOMS club, went to football games, all church happenings, supported the schools and worked in the community. We built a family of beautiful friends that were there for good or bad. We had a church that would envelope you in their love and God spirit and I fell in love with each of them. My kids played in the street, down the road, at neighbors and had wonderful Pseudo-Grandparents who my own birth family cherished as they knew their importance in our lives. I had friends that were more like sister that I couldn't breathe without on certain days. We attended weddings, funerals, parties, baby showers, Popsicles in the sun, tears over coffee and dinners when one of us were sick or needed a break.
One Spring I left quickly..into the late afternoon.. with the sun setting I drove out of town..a divorce pending, secrets of a marriage I couldn't share, fearful days and night being left so I could feel safe...and the sickness in my heart of stomach of leaving my home...my family..my community.
How often I would think of moving back..of feeling safe..of my children running in the streets safely laughing with their friends..of growing older with my friends...I had created new friends and was a part of a new community...but somehow over time I have realized I still will always have a part of my heart in Harney County..
And I am going back to visit in 2 weeks..not just a drive thru but a 3 day visit..and I feel like I am going home