Lately I’ve discovered that home for me is wherever my family is. It doesn’t matter if we are in the place where all of our stuff is, or just where we’re laying out heads for that night. I call them all home.
But my REAL, REAL home is now, and probably always will be, Mt. Shasta. It is where we raised our kids, where I spent 20 years building the business I loved from the ground up, where most of my long-time friends still live.
It is a small town, nestled right at the base of the volcano known by the same name. Her majestic peaks can be seen from miles around.
We still own a home here, but we’re renting it out now, so it is not the place we come to back to, as was the plan when we left and didn’t sell it.
I say “here” because we have come back for the 4th of July, as do many former residents. It seems appropriate because the kids have their class reunions, and there is still the hokey little parade that they’ve been doing forever, and the walk/run that has been dubbed “the biggest small town race” in America (at least that’s the way I remember it!)
It’s a long trip – about 4 1/2 hours – when there is no traffic, but with the need to get the ice-damaged toads repaired before winter, coming up in the summer makes it an even longer trip. The road was a parking lot at times.
Once you start the climb into the mountains it is so beautiful. I remember hearing once someone asking where Mt. Shasta was, and the answer was, ” just head north on I-5 and when you no longer want to leave California, you’re there.” I think that’s true.
I have to admit, as long as the drive was, once I was in the trees and could catch a glimpse of her through the trees from time to time, my heart began to beat a little faster.
She’s light on snow this year. The drought has hit hard up here. But even with just a bit of snow left, she is still magnificent.
It’s a little weird being here as a tourist. Hannah cried when she realized we wouldn’t be staying at “the Mt. Shasta house.” She is old enough to have lots of happy memories of her times there, playing in the woods, feeding the blue jays, and looking for her treat in Gaga and Da’s magic toy box (we always had a new toy waiting for her in it, even when we were all coming up together and we had to sneak the toy into the house and slip it into the box before she saw us!)
We’re staying out at the Resort Chalets. They are nice, but it’s not the same. I share in Hannah’s melancholy feelings.
Funnier yet, the people who are renting the house are friends, and we’re going there for a bar-b-que tomorrow. I don’t know how I’m going to feel about that. I’m grateful that if someone other than us is living there, that it is someone we know and love, and who appreciate being able to raise their young family there. I guess I’m a little nervous.
I’ll get out and about tomorrow. I plan to take my camera and take a bunch of pictures. I’ll have some time to reflect and bask in the beauty.
When I lived here, I found it draining and I had to get away to recharge. I always found it interesting that so many people came up to decompress. I’m hoping that now that I’m a “tourist” it will have the same restorative effect for me.
I’m anxious to see what my new relationship with my “home” will be…