Home is where Corey is. But home is where I grew up, too, and I know now why Mama told me once she “missed the trees,” because much as I love the country where we’re living now, I do miss the big pines. I grew up in what some call “Deep East Texas,” others the “Piney Woods” region of Texas. The only time I remember the area ever being in the national news was when the space shuttle Columbia was destroyed on re-entry, and the debris field covered most of the area. They kept referring to it as “behind the Pine Curtain.” Made me want to smack somebody.
Three years in Oregon helped some with the yearning for trees… but even though it’s all evergreens, it’s different. The underbrush in Oregon is so thick, that as you’re driving, you’re lucky to see 15 yards into the forest. Not so in East Texas. In the pine woods where I grew up, you can see as far as the light holds into the woods by the roadside. Or at least, that’s what my memory says. Logging changes things, lets the underbrush get much higher. But I’ll stick with my memory…
Anyway–I’m going home next week. Dallas first, to see family and friends, but then I’m going to do some exploring, from Texarkana down to San Augustine. Hopefully, for at least part of it, accompanied by my sis and my niece–but some of it on my own, too. I’m looking for a few acres we can buy that will give us a place to go… maybe to build a place of our own when we retire… maybe just to park an RV on to take a breath between explorations… but a place of our own.
I’ve lived so many places–I was born in North Dakota, where my father was working on the US missile sites, back to Texas every winter then back up north, where the work was, every summer. The parents (both born and raised in East Texas) settled finally when I was six in Nacogdoches County, near a little town named Cushing. From there, after I left home at 17 and spent a year or a couple years in Nacogdoches and a few months in Albuquerque NM, I went back home to Mama for a few months. When I was ready, I headed for San Antonio for basic training, Denver for technical training (USAF), then England, then Montana, back to England, then to Denver again. After Denver, Las Vegas, then central Texas, the post oak region in Madison County (no, not THAT Madison County, no covered bridges there… :)). Then Dallas, and a couple years in Illinois, then my first move to West Texas, 40 miles from where we are now… then to Oregon for three years and finally back again. You may notice a theme….
So, when Corey and I were talking about where we wanted to buy land after we retire, he asked–where do you want to live? and my immediate answer was “East Texas.” Without hesitation. He does not want to go back to Alaska (I asked, I swear!) … and much as I love it here in Big Bend Country, this place is not home.
Some days I feel like a freaking salmon. We will stop extending that metaphor any further now, since they go home to spawn and die… but then again, we’ve pretty much spawned as much we’re going to, and we’re not dead yet… 😀 Not by a good long shot.