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SSR 7: State Street

June 10, 2010

Sometimes going home is about a place. Sometimes going home is about people. Sometimes going home is about a feeling.

My parents don’t live in Madison.  They live in Texas. North of Dallas. In a town, a neighborhood, and a house I’ve never called my own.  They moved in after I became old enough to order a drink at the bar.  They closest I’ve ever lived to this house, was a five and a half hour drive.  It’s never been my home.  I don’t have a bedroom to call my own – instead I stay in the guest room.  It’s never been my home, but because they are there, I still often refer to it as home when discussing future travel plans, or telling stories from holidays spent around their dining room table.  A new dining room table, that they’ve had for years now, yet I will always refer to it as new because I only eat special meals around the table, and only since they’ve lived in this house.  I call this house home because, afterall, home is where the heart is, and my heart is with my family.

Madison is different.  Madison is home to me. Home, Sweet, Home.

Since I first left in 2003, any time I’ve been lucky enough to return for a visit, I always treasure my time alone. 
Several trips during the last several years, I have planned a day time trip for me to walk around downtown, alone – soaking in what I miss most.  I scheduled time to sit, and breathe, and remember, and take it all in- as much as I can – without distraction, knowing that my trip would not last forever and that eventually I would have to be loading my stuff into a suitcase, and boarding a plane for my new town of residence. 

The time I spend alone in Madison is precious.  It is romantic, and meaningful, and needed.  My heart needs it to keep on beating and my head needs it to assure myself in where I came from, who I am, and what I am meant to be.  I need it.  It’s that simple – I need it.

I love my special alone time with the city, but there is another level of home that I can’t reach on my own.

There are people in your life that know you, because they know themselves.  People that you’ve faced the world with.  People that you could count on years ago, when walking down the hall to class together, who you can count on now, while rambling into a telephone from hundreds of miles away about what you thought, and what you did, and what you are going to do now.


It doesn’t matter how far away I am from Megan and Kajsa, when I hear from them, I feel heard.
It doesn’t matter how much time has passed between our last conversation, when we pick right up, we pick right up.
It doesn’t matter what we are doing when we are together, we are together.

They make me feel like home.

It’s only natural that when I spend time in Madison with two of my closest friends I feel like home.
Especially after we realized that we have been friends for almost 15 years. 


After Ashley departed from the farmers market for the expo, I wrote a spent a little bit of time downtown by myself.  Not too much longer, Megan and Kajsa came to my little “soak it in” spot, out side of Orpheum, gifting me with a large soy latte in hand. (Thank you, Kajsa!) 

We walked down to the farmers market, for my second trip of the day.  [seriously, the DCFM is so good that going around the loop twice in one day is cherished, not annoying.]

We shared Stella’s hot & spicy cheese bread.
We shared a bag of heirloom tiny tomatos.
We shared many, many, many vendor samples.
We shared laughter. And opinions. And stories. And suggestions. And memories. And love, sweet, love.

After purchasing a few more locally made gifts for others and treats for ourselves (from Artsy Fartsy and Bare Tree), we made our way to Jamba Juice, for a refreshment. 

We shared flavor suggestions. We shared sips.  We shared refreshing fruit filled air conditioning with bunches of other people escaping the State Street heat. 


Megan and I shared a mini self-portrait photo shoot.



Sometimes, it’s doing the normal things I would be doing if I was living in town and not just visiting that makes me forget I’m on vacation and not just spending another Saturday downtown with two old friends like “normal.” Even just looking at these photos makes me feel like home. Completely. 


except now I want some Stella’s.  Good thing Julie is so savvy. Upon my confessing my craving to her over gchat, she reminded me I can order it for delivery to my little apartment in NY.  And upon our realizing shipping may cost me more than I am willing to pay at this moment (there’s no saying what I will be willing to pay in few weeks.) the idea of a savvy recreation was born.  Stay tuned to Julie’s blog for a truly savvy eat in the future. And stay tuned right here for dozens more Madison recaps. [i’m sure you aren’t sick of this trip yet, riiiight?]


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