Wednesday, December 21, 2011

you CAN come home again

They say you can't go home again. And at least physically, that is not true.

Of course you can get in your car/plane/bus/tardis and travel back to where you grew up/where your family is/where you keep most of your stuff. But often times the place that you get to just isn't the same as you remember.  (that is what the saying means, of course, but, like my brother Ryan said last night "I'm just trying to break it down for you guys")

This always strikes me when I come home for winter break, especially this year.

My brother Daniel has taken over my room upon my absence. The only real change to the room is a lightsaber mounted on the wall and an x-box in the corner but it is enough to remind me that it's not my space anymore. 

And that makes me more than a little sad. And it reminds me that I have a future out there to be worrying about.
(but instead I ignore the scary thoughts about next year and the echos of concerned relatives "what are you going to do? what are you going to do? what are you gonna do?" and burrow myself into another knitting project)

The most radical change - the one that takes the most getting used to and always reminds me that I don't really live here anymore - is the refrigerator

this is not our fridge. this is a stranger's fridge, which is what I see every time I come home for the holidays
Every time I come home it's completely different, and it serves as a microcosm of the changes within my own house, my own family.  Sure, the cheese is still in the cheese drawer, the vegetables are still sitting (ignored and browning) in the vegetable "crisper" drawer, but the contents and configuration are constantly changing.

Sometimes completely new foods show up that I have never heard of or foods that should never have been bought (called over my shoulder: "Who eats blue cheese stuffed olives???" response from the living room: "Oh they're really good. Try one! Try- just try one. Just. Try it. Fine! Don't ever say I don't introduce you to new things").  Then again, there is still a bottle of sake in there that has been lurking at the back of the fridge for several years now. I'm not sure where we got it. Or why.  But it's still there.

I am almost always completely thrown off by the refrigerator.  I open it, seeking refuge for my gurgling hunger, and stop short as I glance around and remember I have no idea what is in there (or how long it's been in there).  It's just one more thing that's different. 
One more reminder that I don't live here anymore and I better get on with my life, because things are changing without me.

Wow. blogging therapy.

In the end, the refrigerator becomes normal again.
I learn not to eat that thing in the black tupperware that's been there since before I got home, that blue cheese stuffed olives are pretty delicious, after all, and that home will always be home. It's just waiting for me to normalize.