I have roots.
I’m not referring to the roots we all have, the ‘Alex Haley 70’s miniseries about his ancestors‘ kind of roots, although I was back home visiting those as well. I am talking about the emotional roots that tie me to a certain place, a place where people love me and I love them. Now, that place is whatever place my children and husband happen to be.
Pulling out of the driveway last weekend, heading out alone on a trip I really wanted to take, I could feel the roots pulling out of the ground as the car lurched over the curb. The roots ripped clear, and it hurt. It happens every time. Sigh. During the drive to the airport, I struggled to find an emotional wet paper towel to wrap around them until I could get to Wisconsin.
Once on the plane, I tucked my roots safely under the seat with my tray-table and seat-back in their upright and locked position. The nice stewardess flight safety specialist (what are they called now?) gave me a warm chocolate chip cookie, which helped.
After landing in Wisconsin, and the drive to the area where I grew up, I face the trick: my roots feel comfortable there, and they want to sink down deep once again where my parents are. And near my dear sister and her family. But then I have to rip them out all over again for the road trip back to my Now Home.
So I spent several wonderful days there, roots heeled in to the ground only miles from where my great-great-grandparents, great-grandparents and grandparents also lived. It is a beautiful area of the state, with rolling hills and a big lake. My ancestors from both sides of my family arrived from Germany to this area in 1850 or so, and the towns still reflect the hard work of those immigrants. By my generation, most people did not speak German in the home, but this article from NPR provides some interesting background on the German influence in the area. The town mentioned is an hour or two from my tiny hometown, but it is similar in many ways to the place I grew from.
On a less historical note, here is one quote from the weekend:
“Apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze.” Because, you know, June IS dairy month. I love that place!
When people (from other parts of the country, clearly) find out where I’m from, they sometimes joke about cows, and ask about ‘cow tipping’. Hmmm. I never tipped a cow, nor do I think I knew anyone that tipped cows. (Did I, folks?) It sounds like something our buddies at MythBusters should look into, an urban myth dissing Elsie and all her fine bovine friends. Don’t try to tip a cow, that’s today’s rule of thumb.
As expected, I felt like a college freshman again when it came time to say goodbye and give the you-know-whats a good rip. I wrapped them up and considered myself lucky that I have two places that feel so much like home.