Phone Numbers

Iím afraid to change my phone number.

I donít know why, but I still have my Virginia area code though I live in Colorado. I know that I should change it to 970 and take my last step toward residency.

Donít get me wrong. I love Colorado, particularly the mountains, the bright cerulean blue skies, the clean air (until you get to Denver) and Old Town Fort Collins. I like seeing the mountains from the Mountain Avenue parking garage, the archway by Coopersmithís and the sculpture of three geese with their wings touching as they lift out of the middle of the triangle of shops and restaurants in downtown.

In 2001, I moved to the Washington, D.C. area and stayed for seven years. I was homesick for Fort Collins, and now that Iím back here, Iím homesick for D.C. and Virginia, for the monuments, the Smithsonian museums, the Blue Ridge Mountains and the ocean, plus all the different towns and cities within a dayís drive.

I donít know whatís wrong with me. I canít put a book down once I start it, and I canít let go of the places Iíve been. I get attached. I roll through the memories of the places I love. Itís like they put grains of sand and pieces of brick and bits of stones into my heart, weighing me down wherever I go.

I got used to the fast pace of D.C., the business-clad coffee goers, the formal luncheons, the politics in the air I breathed, and the lack of bike trails except in places where you had to drive and park.

I took a long time to settle in, both in D.C. and back here. I guess part of it is being sentimental and a wonderer of the big what if? I hadnít wanted to leave D.C. after I had been laid off and couldnít find a job. I moved back to my hometown to be close to family, more of a security than being alone in a big city without an income.

I wonder how long it takes for where you live to become home. I donít have sparkly red shoes to click. I just have memories and this clinginess to nine numbers.

4 Responses to “Phone Numbers”

  1. I so relate! I don't think attachment is wrong - it helps us fully live in a place and absorb it. I had similar conundrums when I lived in Germany, Los Angeles, and even moving around in Colorado (Lvld, Fort Collins, Eaton, Evans and back to Lvld!). So these homesick feelings simply mean we have absorbed richness from a place and carry it with us. I'm grateful for these experiences that have significantly expanded this small town girl's perspectives!

  2. Cheryl Courtney says:

    Roots happen, and they take a long time to stretch out far and wide. Being uprooted is hard. Sometimes, when I am in a new place I actually have to visualize those tiny little pale tendrils pushing down and out. I need roots to stabilize me and help me stay alive. I am glad you came back and that your amazing words are happening with me, around me. You are now part of my root system. Thanks!

  3. Fay Ulanoff says:

    With deep feelings come truth.
    I can so relate to this one.

  4. Helen Colella says:

    Home is where the heart is...

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