Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Driving home …

July 8, 2008

We’ve just returned to New York from a visit with family in South Carolina. It was the first time I’ve driven home in ten years.

My family is much the same just older and dearer to me each time I see them. We are a nutty bunch but we love each other and it was good seeing them and spending a few hours around the table.

HH, Mama and I have been in Cologne for a little over two years. For most of the rest of my life I lived in Manhattan, with a dash of LA and a brief forced retreat to Amish country. But I grew up in the South, born near the Mason-Dixon line and raised in Florida, Virginia and South Carolina. That background will always color my view of the world, if only by shades.

Going home is a complicated process for Navy Brats (like me) or Army Brats or the children of all sorts of families that moved every few years for any number of reasons. It’s difficult at times to even know where to call home. Is it Maryland where I was born or Virginia where I learned to ride a bike and make a friend or South Carolina where I came of age and where my family lives or New York where HH was born and where I lived for over 25 years or Cologne, on the Brüsseler Platz, forty minutes from the village where my wife was born and raised and where her mother, HH’s Oma, still resides?

For the next few installments I’ll be writing about my experience of driving home. It has stirred lots of thinking on the ideas of home, driving, television, food, growing older … and other things.

All the best from here.