A Letter to Home

Fourth of July Family! - Minnetonka MN - Anika Mikkelson - Miss Maps - www.MissMaps.com

After all this travel talk, it was time to head home for a while. One week in Ohio, one week in Minnesota. It was enough to get my mind and heart racing. Should I stay? Should I get a real job? Do I belong here? Or there? Or anywhere?

There’s no way to encapsulate what two weeks at ‘home’ makes a girl feel. But here I did my best. Basically, I felt loved, supported, and only a little crazy.

 

Click on an image to view photos from Summer in the USA:

Here it goes: 

A Letter to Home,

You got me good this time. You really did.
You thought you had me trapped didn’t you? Even I was nearly convinced.

You showed me what I was missing. You gave me what I was unknowingly craving. You reminded me of friendships. You brought sunshine and thunderstorms.

You let me sleep in my own bed with my own pup snuggled up alongside me. You let me eat cereal with milk, egg salad sandwiches, barbecued ribs, and s’mores. You let me sneak chocolate from Dad’s stash like I used to twenty years ago.

In some places, you smelled like fancy potpourri. The kind that shoots from a canister on designated intervals. In other places, you smelled like mildew and stale moth balls. A less pleasant yet familiar scent.

 

Click on an image to view photos from Summer in the USA:

 

You brought me to reunions of friends and family, and invited me to tear up the dance floor at a wedding of someone I’d never met before.
Maybe we would’ve met sooner had I been to see you more.

You let me snuggle with Mom, solve crosswords with Dad, hug Grandma and Grandpa, joke with my big brother, and catch up on issues and successes of the year past.

You let me gossip with girlfriends over a cup of coffee while their newborns patiently waited for Mom’s caffeine buzz to kick in. You helped me think, “Great job, friend. Great job, Mom!”

You caused me to question my own goals in comparison to others and silently encouraged me to conform once again to the 9-5 picket fence lifestyle. The one that so many of my loved ones are rocking at, but that I’ve felt a calling from.

You let me think, “Shouldn’t this be me? Three moms, three babies? Instead of carrying a bag, shouldn’t I be pushing a stroller? Where’s my wedding ring? Where’s my husband? Oh wait…You don’t want that. Not yet…”

 

Click on an image to view photos from Summer in the USA:

You let me sneak away to a friend from school’s house warming party and didn’t judge me too harshly for not owning a home of my own.

You let me congratulate another friend on her new career path and didn’t judge me too harshly for not working my own job.

You let me be me, but drew me into you.

Leaving you, I nearly missed the bus.
Leaving you, my plane was delayed by several hours.
Leaving you, I realized I had so so much American change left in my wallet.
Leaving you, I realized you hadn’t yet taken me to see everyone I’d hoped.

But although I was late to the bus, it waited.
The plane still managed to take off.
I’ll be able to handle the weight of a few extra coins in my purse.
And those missed will be pulling me back stronger next time.

Click on an image to view photos from Summer in the USA:

Leaving you, I saw the skyline of a city I’ve always known and loved. I passed a river I’ve always held my breath over, just for kicks. I thought about old friendships, old loves, old roommates, old stories.
And I realized… these things are all old. Some still exist in a new form, but the old times? They’re no longer here, now. They’re no longer the same.

But they are still important.

Home, you taught me that no matter where I am, no matter where they are or we are, or what we’re doing… you’ll still be there, offering reminders of past memories and helping us to make new ones. You’ll always be there, just a little different than the last time we met.

 

Click on an image to view photos from Summer in the USA:

Love you for all that you are and all that you’ve given me,

Your little Curly Sue

 

I Want To...  - by Anika Mikkelson - Miss Maps - www.MissMaps.com

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2 Comments

  1. Anika, I just love the way you write and the way you see the world and its people. I especially liked the pictures of the covered bridges and S’Mores. I can imagine how much you have missed your family, friends, and food in the U.S. over the past year. I find that little things at home mean a lot after you’ve been gone, whether it’s pets or comfy beds and bathrooms. So what’s next for you? I would love to meet you in Africa or Australia or wherever sometime. Ruth Ann

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