Monday, May 29, 2017

Observations on Home

Photo from D. Havens. Alfred Freyling, Sr in undated photo.

After spending the weekend in Southern Indiana, we're back in Northern Virginia. The long weekend gave us the opportunity to spend time with Allison's side of the family and drive through my old stomping grounds south of Indianapolis to Bloomington. We had a great visit with family, and I have brought back quite a few old photos and records from Allison's side of the tree.

In a fortuitous bit of timing, I am about to hit three of my states of residence since 1985 within a 24 hour period. This morning we flew back from Indianapolis to Northern VA, and tomorrow I will be flying to Los Angeles for a couple of days of meetings. This gives me some perspective on the concept of home.

For my middle school years through law school, I lived in Central Indiana. I attended Wabash College and Indiana University School of Law. While living there I frequently traveled the roads between Indianapolis and Bloomington. Over the weekend I drove some of those same roads, State Road 67 and 37, I-69, and passed through my old high school town of Martinsville, Indiana. While some of the sights were familiar - seeing Gray Brothers Cafeteria in Mooresville and the roads around Indiana University in Bloomington - a lot had faded from memory or was unrecognizable. Parts of Evansville seemed more current in my mind than the old neighborhood around Martinsville. The drives brought back some memories, but the area no longer feels like my home.

On this visit we did not have time to visit friends and family in Indianapolis. Other than driving to the airport, we didn't see the city, so perhaps some of these feelings would have been different around Downtown or in Indy itself.

Northern Virginia is where we live now, seven years removed from our residence in Santa Monica. But in the years since we returned to Alexandria, I have consistently gone back to LA several times a year for meetings at headquarters. We still own our condo in LA County, and continue to pay California taxes. I definitely feel at home in LA. Over the years my feeling of home in LA has grown, partly due to my historical connections to the city and family links to California. The feeling is also due to the years of living there and returning. LA is one of my favorite places in the world.

While this week's trip is short, I am looking forward to seeing family, colleagues and familiar places. I'll cap this post with a link to Best Coast's 2012 song The Only Place, a perfect ode to Los Angeles. See you tomorrow, LA.
Image taken from I Love You, California cover sheet.

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