Maybe it’s a result of never having lived in any community for longer than 20 years, and that only once, that I’ve realized I have a two communities I consider my former homes – Grand Rapids where I lived from the 5th grade until I was 40 and Traverse City where I lived for the next 10 years. What makes these places home, of course, are people who remain there who love and welcome me, places with many wonderful and some not-so-wonderful memories, and a piece of myself left behind.
This week finds me in Traverse City – truly the most beautiful place I have ever lived and I often think #1 of everywhere I have visited as well. I was hardly within the city limits before I pulled over and sat and watched the water. It was sunny when I pulled up and the water one of the hues of blue that only Grand Traverse Bay seems capable of creating. I drove by the two houses that were our homes in Traverse City – one where the 3 of us, Nik, Malina and I, began our adventure in Northern Michigan and then the great 1894 farmhouse that became the home of the Swiatek/Haswell family when Ed came into our lives.
The wine store is again named "The Blue Goat". That parking ramp really did get built downtown. Somewhere there is a vodka distillery. Meijer remains open 24 hours a day and you can’t go there without running into someone you know. The big sailboats are docked all along M-22 today, glistening in the rain.
I didn’t get to click my ruby slippers together – in fact, it’s a family medical emergency that brings me here. But, gosh, it’s good to be home.