GOING HOME. AND WORDS IN CONCRETE.

We got home last night from a seven day visit to Texas. Home. To Colorado. Why I feel guilty saying that is a mystery but I do. A little. Or maybe just worried that I’ll offend someone. But I do have two places I feel at home now. And I guess I really don’t need to apologize for that.

Seven days of family, friends, babies, fried food, tacos and beer. I am full. My heart is full and I already miss them so much.

But Im gonna go ahead and confess some things I realized about going home. And most importantly I know now…you can’t.

First of all as I crossed the state line into Texas there was no red carpet, no clapping, and no cheesy music from a John Hughes film playing in the background. Slightly disappointed but whatever, people are busy right. After 13 hours in a car with my family and dog I would’ve been happy to pull into a driveway in Kazakhstan. You know why? I bet THEY have a Fuzzy’s Taco!

We ate ourselves sick, got to see many of our friends and play with our nieces and nephew. I got to hug my Mom. I got to make fun of my brother. I got to see my grandma. I got ice tea brought to me ALREADY SWEETENED! I ate tacos till I burst. I got to see my Beachbody Coaches that live in that area. I got to drink GIANT beers with Kristen and Michelle and Erika and Janna. I got to shop at a MALL!!! I knew the Cowboy game would be aired without even thinking about it. And I got to watch them DESTROY the Colts. My lips got unchapped (Texas humidity). It was a good trip. It was a great trip.

I planned to go “visit my Dad”. God thats so creepy sounding. I hate that. He was buried in a mosoleum thing in Carrollton near my grandpa. He is also near my friend Nancy and my brother’s friend, Clayton. I always say hi to them when I go too. I planned on going. I really did. But I didn’t. Its a very pretty place. His name is etched in a pretty stone with the dates on it and its actually eye level for me so I don’t look like a moron shouting to a wall six feet above my head. Yes I know-you dont ACTUALLY have too speak directly to the stone. Sometimes I can be literal. And I want to make sure he hears me- he had selective hearing like most men.
It’s ok to laugh- really.

But I didn’t go. Instead I asked my husband to drive me to the house I grew up in on Addington Drive in Carrollton. I lived there from the time I was 5 until I moved away to college when I was 18. It is so full of memories it is bursting. I wanted to knock on the door and tell the people that live there now all the secrets that house holds. How important it is. That in 1984 I convinced my sister she was Mary Lou Retton and she should double vault off of the swing set. She broke both arms. I got in BIG trouble. That the greatest version of suburban Flash Dance EVER was recreated on the patio in the summer of ’85 with the help of my sister’s friends Lori and Kelly (and Im sure I made Lance dance too). That my bedroom window screen pops off quite easily- and I snuck out of that sucker more times than I can count. That I spent so many hours on that front step in the middle of the night talking…to whomever showed up at my window…. That I could turn my car off and let it coast just to the right spot in front of the house at 2:00am so they couldn’t hear me coming home. (Though Im pretty sure Dad ALWAYS knew). That the bald spot in the yard remains from my attempt at “chewing tobacco” that resulted in vomit-fest 1990. That the front yard held so many damn signs screaming about our accomplishments it was sad. Kelly’s soccer and cheer signs, my cheer signs, Nick’s “Im not in jail” signs. LOL Kidding little brother (well not really but whatever sign he had Im sure he stole).

The trees are bigger. The house looks so much smaller. The step I sat on countless nights for hours on end talking looks so tiny. I wish – oh how I wish I’d recorded those conversations. Or maybe not. I think now it all belonged right there at 1905 Addington Dr., right then from 1979-1991. Right exactly when the trees were short enough to see all the way down the block. Right when Depeche Mode played in my car while we sat on the steps drinking…sweet tea…ya…sweet tea. Those conversations and those people and those smells and that music and those feelings belong RIGHT THERE. To that time. And they pass and new memories are made. You cannot go home again. You can’t. Because it is a feeling and a moment that can’t be recaptured and you shouldn’t try. And that’s ok. Enjoy the very moment you are in right now because this moment will become a beautiful memory too.

And we drove around to the alley behind my house. And I took a picture of some more concrete with some names in it. In 1980 my Dad and Grandpa poured a third driveway. He etched my name in it because I was 7 years old and I “helped” pour the driveway. He wrote “JENNY ’80”. Then I think he felt bad so he added the two other stupid sibling’s names but let it be known they DID NOT HELP POUR THE DRIVEWAY. And WAY more close to my Dad I felt than in any cemetery….

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