Visiting Home

I went home this past weekend, and everyone who always told me that it would feel strange was right. After being in Oswego for nearly two months and not having visited home since, going home was very strange, because my hometown felt somewhat foreign. It’s not easy to explain. My hometown, which is Rome, has always felt like home to me, and just about everything else has seemed strange, and I could never imagine myself living somewhere else and feeling comfortable, with the exception of New Hartford, which I love and is actually where I was born. Anyway, coming home this weekend and entering Rome, looking at the shops and the diners and the streets, I realized that that concept of Rome being a safe haven for me has only ever been just that: a concept. Most towns aren’t really that different; it’s just that concept of your hometown being your home that creates that feeling. For example, if someone who lives in Fulton visits Rome, that person would have that same strange feeling of not being able to imagine living there as I used to have visiting other towns.

However, at the same time, going home also reminded me of the film Juno, because there is a scene in the film in which the main character, Juno, says, “I never realize how much I like being home unless I’ve been somewhere really different for a while.” I used to be easily bored by Rome. There is a Walmart, a cinemas, a bowling alley, and that’s about it if you’re looking for a central place to spend time with your friends. However, going home this past week, I also looked at Rome in a whole new light, because even though, as I said before, it felt a bit foreign due to me being away for so long, I was also reminded of how much I love Rome and its comfortable simplicity. There’s Spresso’s coffee on N. James St., which, in my humble opinion, is not even matched by Starbucks. There’s the Community Arts Center where there is a Halloween Haunted House show displayed every year, which is one of my favorite times of the year. There’s also my bedroom, which felt like a long-lost friend seeing it for the first time in almost two months. I couldn’t believe how much room I had in there not having a roommate!

Then, of course, there are the many friends that I haven’t seen in a while, some since June. It was so nice seeing them and catching up with the ones that I haven’t talked to since I left, mainly because of being so busy, and, of course, there is the question which continually presented itself: “how’s college?” It’s not an easy question to answer, because “it’s good” or “I like it” or even “it’s different” doesn’t seem to do the experience justice, and the experience is something that isn’t easy to explain, so I did my best by telling all that asked that it’s not high school.

In all, it was great going back home and seeing my family, doing a late-night Tim Burton movie party with my brother and a close friend and listening to my father as he tried to convince me to become a McCain supporter. I can’t wait to go back, but in the meantime, I’m enjoying the very few green days here at Oswego that we have left.


So this marks the beginning of the last week I will be in the U.S. for the next 4 1/2 months.  Right now I am down spending some quality time with my Dad in Allen, TX.  Allen is about 20 minutes north of downtown Dallas; however, because the area is part of the “metroplex” – population 5-6 million – I feel like I am in a major city rather than a town.   Today’s high was 104 F…perfect weather for a midday 3 mile run!   While I can’t picture myself living in Texas full-time, I have found that the Dallas area has a lot to offer…a zoo and 17 sheets of ice amongst all other things…so I have been staying busy. 

Sunday I visited the Sixth Floor Museum in Dealy Plaza and took a tour of the Texas School Book Depository – the building from which Lee Harvey Oswald “supposedly” shot President John F. Kennedy.  The museum was well worth the gas $ and ticket price!  Plus, there was an interesting and free side attraction…watching people dodge and delay midday downtown traffic in order to be photographed giving the thumbs up smile while standing on one of the two white X’s marking the exact location of each bullet’s contact with Kennedy .   Only in Texas…

I think I might try packing for Australia tomorrow, but it is me, so packing probably won’t commence until the day I leave…