Home is not where you live but where they understand you.
~ Christian Morgenstern ~I grew up in South Baltimore. From where I am now, it is called back East. In the Midwest, everything is either north, south, east or west. Asking for directions, you get “South on L street, west on A! The streets hardly have names either. Central, Main, names like that and the alphabet letters, now THAT is creativity!
I’m getting kind of hurt and feeling shut out and isolated. I didn’t grow up with the aroma of manure permeating my clothes. The only thing that permeated my clothes was second hand smoke and alcohol from the barrooms my dad went to. My school wasn’t in town, it was right around the corner, which I could walk to on what we deemed asphalt streets, not a dirt road. I didn’t have cows and pigs as pets, I had a dog. I didn’t grow up using the term POP!
I grew up with concrete under my feet. A solid substance if even that was the only solid substance there was in my life. It was MY life, and MY home! But if I say to someone, “I’m from back east, Baltimore.” They get this shocked look like they just saw a hundred naked men streaking through the Church or something. The ‘I’m appalled to be in your presence’ look is getting old for me. It downright hurts.
Don’t get me wrong, living out here is pretty awesome. The big rumbling tractors, the crop dusters zooming over your head, the wild Turkey’s running across your lawn, deer peeking out of the woods to see if the coast is clear. All this makes up the flatland of Nowhere Special Nebraska, where I live now. A huge contrast from back home where the skyscrapers towered over you as you walked the Inner Harbor, the parks all having historical monuments placed throughout the city/state, the aroma of the sea salt, even though Ocean City Maryland was quite a distance from Baltimore, although the Chesapeake Bay is just off of Fort Mc Henry, where unbeknownst to the mid-westerners, the war of 1812 was fought!
I think the shock I receive is from the unknown. The kids out here are not taught about the East Coast, they just hear dark looming stories and that forms their entire opinion of all people from back east. Very judgmental in my opinion, but then, the people back east form an opinion about Southerners or Northerners, but the mid-westerners? We were not taught about them either. In school we were taught that it was all flatland and farming out here, and well, that wasn’t a misconception by any means. A friend here said, “It’s an entirely different mentality once you cross the Mississippi and head East.” That’s what they’re taught.
As kids grow up out here in the State with a major hospital hundreds of miles away, a state with an airport hours away. (I grew up with BWI Airport within ten minutes of my house, and Johns Hopkins a hop skip and a jump) a state that kids want to hurriedly grow up and leave behind, but one in which, they always want to return to, with time.
We realize in life...even after being told a million times, that HOME is where the heart is.
Who are the ones that aid/comfort me? Assist me? Makes me feel like I’m a member of a family? Writers! Certainly not either state that I’ve been in. If I need to actually ASK for your assistance or you need to ASK how I’m getting along? Then you don’t know me...or care.
Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.
~John Ed Pearce ~