Friday, January 18, 2008


We live in the same house where I grew up. It is in a rural area on a dead end street. From the kitchen table, I can look out and see all the way to the next ridge, and on a clear night we can see downtown Cleveland. A lot of the old farms have been sold and chopped up into housing developments, the people I went to school with scattered, the old familes no longer here. This area has become overrun with Home Depot, grocery stores, clothing shops, and two McDonalds restaurant. But I came back; or maybe I never really left.

All the years that I lived in other places, I would return and as soon as I began to climb the hills, I would know I was back where I belonged. It is not the house, but the area itself: the light, the trees, the ridge, maybe a combination of all these. I am here with plants which we can trace back to my grandmother, my grandfather's tools, huge trees which were saplings when my sister and I planted them, pets who we buried in the backyard, and the enclosed porch which my mother had built after scrupulously saving part of her paycheck for many years.

Now my kids wait at the same bus stop where I stood, they play in the same fields where I did, and they sleep in the bedrooms where my sister and I slept.

The neighbors are gradually dying off; new neighbors are moving in, and a new house was built on the street last year, the first in thirty plus years. However, we are here for the duration. I cannot imagine living anywhere else.