I’ve always felt a longing to go south again. I lived in Indiana for 10 years, but it never truly felt like home, perhaps because I never let it. The ways of the Hoosiers (a word my St. Louis background caused me to never embrace), always seemed strange and a bit bumbling to me. The first three years I spent here, after all, we didn’t observe daylight savings. Yes, while the rest of the country turned their clocks backwards or forwards obediently, twice a year, we moved about our lives, pretending the tradition never existed.
I always compared their food to my own; peanut butter pie was no match for pecan and pork tenderloins were a shoddy version of a catfish sandwich. And I always missed my pimento cheese and hush puppies (I was once righteously offended when I went to a Catholic fish fry and instead of hush puppies they offered me rice. RICE). But, as you must understand, I came here late to the game and with my heart already married to the land below the Mason-Dixon. And it didn’t help that Indiana’s Achilles heel is their winter. I hate the cold. I hate the snow. I dread it every year. To go to the land where snow barely exists has me more excited than I can possibly say.
So while I taught myself to drive through their so-called roundabouts and find a setting sun behind a field of corn just as beautiful as a scenic mountain, I always wondered when we would go back.
The conversation extended to my parents. We spoke of it in sweeping dreams and whispered circles. Someday we’ll live together. Someday we won’t be a plane ride away. Someday our girls will be able to walk over to your house for dessert. Someday…
We’ve been speaking of someday for eight years. And then in 2016, someday became reality. In April, Dad retired. In May, they moved to Nashville. In June, N accepted a job there. In July he moved. In August we closed on our house. It happened so fast, it left us reeling, but in reality, it had been the plan all along. And now we are going home.
Our new house will be completely different from our schoolhouse. It will be neighborhood-ly and suburban. I imagine our lives there will be the same, but of course augmented by bar-be-que and accents.
But to give fair credit where it’s due, I will miss our decade in Indiana. We loved and lived in two wonderful cities, each unique in their own right. We had fantastic neighbors in each of these places and wonderful churches. We made friends there; deep friendships that span 10 years or one, both invaluable to our well-being.
Noblesville was vibrant and fun, the kick-off to our life with children and suburban in the best way possible. Upland was magical and sweet; the life we had dreamed of for so long. It will be hard to say goodbye, and we will look back with longing from time to time.
But the next chapter has already started and it’s time to move ahead. In fact, I think my moving crew just arrived. Rocky Top, I’m coming home