When I was a child we had these albums we'd give to people to write poems into. The idea was to have as many poems as possible... and a memory of all of your best friends, family, and even teachers. :) I pulled out my album this morning. It's light blue with a big white heart. Inside the heart stands a little girl, arms folded on her chest. She is looking down quizzically at a boy kneeling next to her, gazing at her admirably.
Inside, poem after poem, little pieces of wisdom and photos of long gone friends (some of whom I found again on Facebook), one from my grandma who died in '95... and one from my mom. I find it almost ironic that my mom of all people would write into my album that home is not necessarily where you grew up, but where your heart is. Because years later she was the one to gently push me away from home... not just in the neighborhood, but across the world, onto a different continent altogether. I know she did so with a heavy heart. She misses me as much as I miss her and my dad and my brother...
All of this is over 11 years ago. Yes, I do miss them. I hate that I can't be there for carnival in February or for the wine fests in September. I would love to be able to just walk to my parents' house and hang out for a while.
And while I lived in Arizona, had you asked me if I would pack up my family and move back to Germany, I would have probably said yes.
But here in Oregon I definitely did find my new home... I feel like I belong here. I love the the four seasons, my mountain that on a good day I can see in the distance. I love to have the beach nearby. I love hiking and berry picking, and weird Portland people. I love my friends and family. I have the very best friends here. I cannot possibly imagine living anywhere else. It's here that I learned what true friendship is... through highs and lows. Oregon is home. And I hope it always will be.