Monday, March 21, 2011

Our Town

This weekend I was far away in the land of good looking vampires and dormant volcanoes.
 I loved Seattle.  Everything about it was amazing - the coffee, the shops, the market, and even (surprisingly) the weather.  The first few days I basked in a feeling bordering on regret...I wished I lived in a larger city....I always pictured myself taking public transportation to work, dragging my groceries home in a little cart those people in the city use, and walking my kids to school just down the street. When Dustin and I were engaged, I was student teaching in a big city, and we were thinking about graduation. We had all sorts of ideas of where we were going to live.  Every place had skyscrapers and public parks, art museums and aquariums, Safeways and/or Jewels.  Even after we were married and he drug me to "the heartbeat of America" for school, I still got pangs of regret when we would visit any metropolitan area.  That felt like where I was supposed to be....until that one summer I hit the road.
Did I tell y'all about the summer I left town?  Two years before Miles came home I decided to pack my bags and study art for a summer in San Francisco.  Did I consult my loving husband?  Probably in some off-hand way he didn't take seriously.  Did I put any thought into this adventure?  Very little.  However, everything fell into place.  At the beginning of June I flew directly from Rome, Italy to San Francisco, stopping only long enough to pick up my poor husband in Chicago.  (Why was I in Rome? - trust me, that is for another day.)
To sum it up, I studied my heart out in San Francisco....but I didn't just study.  I drank red wine in Napa, hiked around hilly city parks, laid out in Stinson Beach, ate tuna tar tar in a restaurant where everyone sat on beds, biked across the Golden Gate bridge, and met Dave Eggers (don't be jealous).  Was it awesome?  Yes.  Did it make me want to move there? No.
Why not??!!  I know....SF is my city - or so a good friend once told me.  But the truth I've come to realize is that my city isn't on a coast.  It isn't the coffee roasting capital of the world and there isn't a brewery on every corner.
 I can admire their beaches and bridges and H&Ms....but I can still love my much smaller city.  My dippy little corn-fermenting smelling, unreliable buses that only go every 45 minutes, and poor street drainage city.....oh how I love you.
And I do.
Because tonight when I was crossing over our version of the Golden Gate Bridge and I saw my city's skyline I was in awe.  We may not have the Space Needle or Sears Tower, or the Empire State Building, but my city has something more....  Two little boys and a man that are very excited to see me after a long trip.  Sorry Seattle, but that trumps your diverse population, fancy recycling system, fake sultry vampires, and artisan markets any day.