As we drove through Syracuse New York towards Albany the skies were cloudy, the remnants of a past snowstorm were still on the road and much to my surprise I had an overwhelming sense of calm. It was a surprise to me because if you know me even a little, you know I hate the cold and especially the snow. When I lived in the northeast, I hated the snow so much I would cry every time the weatherman said there was a storm on the way; real tears and when there was word that there was to be a big snow storm in April, I put myself on suicide watch. It just never seemed to melt, and just when you thought you could see some grass, there was another huge storm. As we drove to Albany, however, I thought perhaps the reason I hated it so much was because I had to be out in it. It seemed like I was always fighting my way on snowy roads to get to work. There was always a kid to pick up from school early. The wondering what to do with said kids while I finished working from home. And then there was the shoveling; shoveling that mess before my kids were old enough to do it for me was my least favorite task.
As we were driving I wondered if where you were born was lodged in your DNA somewhere and no matter where you moved in your lifetime, you subconsciously felt at home once you traveled back to your “birthplace.” I don’t know what this winter will bring, how much snow and how long it will take me to hate it, but what I do know is that moment on the New York State Turnpike, I found my body longing for that first big snow storm. I longed to be cozily sitting on the couch of our rented home in front of a fire with a cup of coffee watching it fall and knowing I don’t have to go out in it. I can just observe the beauty of it all. Of course, I’m sure this was just a lapse in memory and perhaps a lack of caffeine. You should check back with me in mid-February and see if I still feel the same way.
I will tell you this when we pulled into the driveway that wasn’t shoveled, and as I was walking to the end of the driveway to collect the trash cans, it was all thrown right back in my face. Not only the snow but also homeownership, living in a rural setting and lugging trash cans to the end of a driveway and back. When we first decided we were taking this job in Albany, I had been excited to be staying in a house. It turns out I have very much morphed into a city girl, and this city girl loves her apartment with its stunning views, security feature, the laundry within in 20 steps from the laundry basket and maybe most of all, the trash shoot.
It’s funny the things you forget. Living in the South has made me forget that other places in the world make you bag your own groceries. That it takes a really long time for people from the Northeast to be friendly, if ever, and I think they always look at you sideways when they figure out you’re not from around here. The flat out staring Rob gets when they see him in his shorts and how they will just yell across the parking lot at him to put on some pants.
I’m not exactly sure what these four months are going to bring, and I’m sure things will be better once I start working. I do know, however, when I crawled into someone else’s bed last night, turned my sound machine on, put my earplugs in, I felt homesick once again for my own bed and the sounds of downtown Nashville.