This is apropos of absolutely nothing but I'm sitting under my awning listening to the rain at an Ohio State Park on the shores of Lake Erie. After the intense discussion of codes with many of my readers this week, I felt the need to unwind with a glass of wine and a 1968 blend cigar from Macanudo. Okay. It has little if anything to do with the discussion. I drink wine and smoke a cigar almost every night. But I still have some crazy thoughts running around in my head.
I left Indiana in 1976, figuring I'd never go back. I did go back, to bury both my mother and father. I also went back for a high school class reunion a couple times. But something has clicked in my brain over the past few weeks while writing Living Next Door to Heaven. I've had that kind of nostalgic feeling you only get when you've been gone a very long time.
I'm still in Ohio and will be most of this week before I dip into northeast Indiana for a few days and then come back to Ohio for my sister's birthday. But yesterday, I had the strangest feeling of recognition... of coming home. I hope to connect with some of the people I left on 1965 and with classmates I graduated with in 1968. But I find myself wondering if I could buy the old homeplace and use it as a summer base for my travels. I wonder if there is a Hoosier girl still around who would like to join me for a summer adventure. I find myself afraid that none of reality will live up to the fantasies I've let evolve in my mind and this visit to Indiana will just be more of the actual pain and emotional angst that I experienced when I lived here.
I've often said that I get long much better with my dead relatives than my living ones, and now I wonder if that is true of my life in Indiana as well. Seems like all the girls that I once fantasized about are now happily married and religious--three problems.
As I head into a past I left behind for the last time forty years ago, I wonder if I'm really ready for this next stage of my adventure. I guess only time will tell.
The rain has finally reduced my campfire to a wisp of gray smoke. It is time to join my characters in the Indiana I want to remember.