I ran away from home. Not in the "runaway" sense, but more I left and I never looked back. I never attempted to have any ties to the place. I visited, but I didn't care about it. The only pull it had was that my family was there. Everyone else will come to my world, here in the big city.
My parents divorced, they left town, now only my brother remains. He's itching to go, and will be gone by next year, one way or another. It is too small for him, it just took him longer to leap away then it did me. We went back for the first part of our vacation to visit him, to go through things in the house, to perhaps see it for one last time. To take M to all of the places I remembered.
To play in the parks, on the same equipment I made myself sick on so many times.
To watch A and my brother show her how to ride a chicken.
To see my big girl tackle the big girl swings in the park behind the house I lived in from fourth grade until I left (that I came back to for those few months that one time).
I can look at it differently than I did before. I look at it like a tourist more than I think I ever have. It is beautiful, quaint, slow and enjoyable. There are people who know me there, but there is comfort in the fact that they don't really know me. My life is my own now, no longer something to be mocked or talked about behind my back. It felt good. It felt like a place I could go to visit, to vacation, without the baggage. It doesn't hurt that they have the best Taco John's ever (where the owners still know me and my favorite food). There is a yarn store now, a Ben Franklin that stocks the entire Melissa & Doug line, and Dairyland. They took out the car hop area and put in a Drive Thru (sic), but they still hire only the pretty high school sports jocks. They still make the best malt in the world. I would go back for that alone.