It took us a long time to find the perfect place for us. Neither HockeyDad nor I were born to live in a city. Everything is just a little too close and for me, I always feel like someone is watching me. I wanted a place where I could look out my back window and see trees. Or grass. Not the neighbors houses. Or the neighbors. And HockeyDad likes to collect things and tinker. That’s messy and noisy and not conducive to having neighbors within eyesight.
When we finally found and moved into our home, I made it very clear to HockeyDad that we were not going to be leaving anytime soon. At the time it was mostly because it took us two years to find the place we bought and I had no desire to ever go through that again. The other reason is that I don’t move well. I grew up ten kilometres outside of a small town of 800 people. And that’s where I spent the first 18 years of my life.
Moving is not in my blood. It stresses me out and I get really cranky. It disrupts my routine as much as it disrupts my surroundings. My home needs to have things in their places. I need my routines. Moving means that I need to find new places for my things. It means that I need to make new routines.
We grew up on the same farm where my dad was born. A big two story brick farm house with a long winding driveway that my dad spends the better part of a day clearing with the tractor and snow blower every time it snows. In fact, the driveway is about four times wider in the winter than the other three seasons. He has no explanation as to why. My great grandfather had built the house and barns in 1920 and generations of us had been there ever since. Some of the buildings have fallen over time and new ones have been built. My dad has never lived in another house. He’s 63.
Those kinds of roots grow deep. They dig in and extend out. They form a foundation. And there’s a great deal of comfort in driving down that main street and seeing it the same as it always has been. When the time came, my heart hurt a little at the thought of moving away because I knew I would never be able to have that again.
But after a two year house hunt, I found myself on the outskirts of a little town. A similar set up to the town I grew up near. There is one main street where all the businesses (or a good portion of them) are located. The schools are set off the main drag and the arena is on a side street. There’s a library and a fire station. Baseball fields and a park or two, and the town hall.
The people are different, the streets have different stores and houses. But the reality is that I’ve traded one small town for another. The one I grew up in for the one my boys will grow up in. I have people in both. Each town has their own chapter in my life story. And now when I go back to visit my first town, it only holds echos. It isn’t home anymore.
Because I’ve made my own home in another small town.
And if you need to find me, I’ll be at the rink.