I rarely get homesick, but I've had a few pangs this past week. First, the most obvious. Yay Packers! I know I should say, "Go Packers!" but that would make me sound like a football fan, which I am certainly not. But how could I not root for my home state? Those Green Bay boys did us proud tonight.
I was born and raised in a suburb north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin called Fox Point. It's known for being kind of richy rich, but we didn't qualify for that. I was lucky to live in a great old (and I mean it literally was on the register as one of the oldest houses in the Village) house in a beautiful, safe neighborhood. Everyone had a big yards and no one had fences so all the properties connected. When we played outside, we had acres of big green lawns among all the neighbors and we ran wild from yard to yard. Summertime was king. I remember feeling truly free walking the railroad track just blocks from our house, collecting inchworms under the big shade trees, riding my bike to the Fox Point pool for swim team with my best friend Jenny, and playing kick the can in the cul-de-sak way past dark. I am not waxing poetic. It's the truth.
But summertime in Arizona? Not so much.
Here in Phoenix we hide in our air conditioned homes from 10am until the sun goes down, and even then, it's often too hot to even take a walk. Is that how kids should be spending their summertime? Hell no. Maybe someday Nick and I will be able to afford our dream summer home in Manhattan Beach, California, but for now, I'm dreaming about Milwaukee. My Mom just reported that my free classified ad in the "Fox Point-Of View" (I know, it's painful) is hot off the press. Yes, I actually placed an ad. I'm looking for a Fox Point family who may be taking a summer vacation to allow my family to house sit or dog sit for a few weeks this summer. I'm even willing to pay for the chance to take care of their house! I just want out of Phoenix for a chunk of time this summer. I want my kids to run free in the beautiful weather, in the picturesque neighborhood. We want to be close to my Mom, without taking over her home and allowing her to keep her sanity. So, if anyone out there is willing to open your house to us, please contact me. I see our Phoenix summer peeking its pitchfork around the corner and I need a plan to escape!
To add to my twinge of homesickness, Nick and I watched the episode of American Idol that was filmed in Milwaukee at the incredible Art Museum. They kept showing the Milwaukee skyline and familiar places that I didn't even realized I missed, but boy, I really do.
What I miss most about Milwaukee is my Mom, and I am giddy that she is coming to Phoenix for a couple weeks arriving this Friday. There are several layers to the reason for her visit. Of course she wants to visit my family and my sister Diane here, and she needs to escape that wild winter weather for a bit. But another reason, the clincher, is that this Saturday, February 12th would have been my Dad's eightieth birthday. It's been six months since he died this past August. We are all pretty nervous that his birthday is going to evoke some powerful emotions, some that we probably haven't even experienced yet during our grieving.
Maybe it all comes down to the fact that I'm homesick because what I really miss is my Dad. Wow, I hadn't put that all together until I just typed it right now. This is not where I meant for this blog entry to go, but looks like my subconscious lead me here, and with that, and a few tears, I'll say goodnight.