Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I’m Home…

Last Wednesday, when I stepped off the plane into a fine misty rain*, I knew that I was home. Well and truly home. The concept of home is an amorphous one and it can be a bit tricky when you’ve made a big move like we have.

“There’s no place like home,” said Dorothy three times as she clicked the heels of her ruby slippers. Not too long ago, if I’d been given a pair of those glittery slippers and made a similar wish, I’d have ended up in Wheaton, Illinois. As recently as December, when I thought of home, I thought of good old 835, the house Peter and I owned for three years.

Good thing I didn’t have such a non-conventional traveling device since I would have ended up in the middle of someone else’s home. Our former neighbors have sent us pictures and I get reports occasionally from a friend who drives past the house. It’s been girl-ed up with window boxes of flowers, a new front door, and all manner of patio furniture. Goodness knows what’s happened to the inside of the place. In my mind’s eye, it will always be the way I left it – clean, organised, and tastefully decorated.

Visiting my parents in Cleveland over Christmas disabused me of the notion of home being in Wheaton. As I sat on a Continental flight, I felt like I was on Aer Lingus Flight #125. I fully expected the plan to deposit me in O’Hare, as had happened so many other times. Ending up in Cleveland Hopkins Airport went a long way to convincing me that Chicago was part of my past.

I’m not quite sure how, exactly, but over the last three months, Dublin has become home for me. Maybe it’s because I have a full-time permanent job now instead of just a contract. Maybe it’s because I’m putting down roots by joining a camogie team and undertaking the search for an Irish teacher. Maybe it’s just that I’m a slow changer and my mind took awhile to catch up with my body.

All I know is that while I have the occasional “I can’t believe I really live here” moments (usually when I have a jog along the Vico Road and can see Bray Head and Dublin Bay, which is much different than anything Chicago had to offer), when I think of home, I think of Dublin.

*Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like the Beatles when you get to walk down the little staircase and across the tarmac on an Aer Lingus or a Ryan Air flight? I always have to suppress the silly urge to wave.


At 22 March 2006 at 21:45, Blogger Arbusto said...

Welcome back! I say back like you are back in the states when I mean back to the place from which you started the trip. Glad to see you made it home!

At 24 March 2006 at 13:04, Blogger Auds said...

I always expect the head of state and several military figures to salute me at the end of the stairway. And then kiss my feet!
I was in Washington in Januaray and was amazed by the buses on stilts job that picked you up at the plane and deposited you to the terminal. Much rather a stairs.

An Irish teacher? That's impressive!

At 24 March 2006 at 15:25, Blogger Lex Fori said...

Yay!!! Ann's back!!

Welcome home, breathe it in like the smell of your mother when you snuggled your child-head into her chest.

Now get out there and beat the crap out of someone. Camogie style.

At 25 March 2006 at 17:01, Blogger Terri said...

Welcome home! It took me a long time to think of Dublin as home, too, and then it kind of crept up on me. Had to chuckle though - it always seems to be raining here when I get off a plane too!

At 26 March 2006 at 06:48, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

It is nice to read that you think of Dublin as home. It seems to me that it would be kind of tough to always feel like you were living somewhere other than home. If that makes any sense to anyone else I'll be surprised.

At 29 March 2006 at 18:13, Blogger -Ann said...

Arbusto - Thanks!

Auds - Oooh, I like the way you think. Clearly I'm not dreaming big enough. Screaming teenage girls are all well and good, but saluting military figures are much better.

Lex - Thanks! First match is on Tuesday - I can't wait.

Terri - Heh. There is just no getting around the fact that March is a miserable month in this country.

Jack - I must read your site too much because I understood you perfectly. :)


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