We are planning a trip back to Alabama later this month to celebrate my Dad’s 75th birthday and to visit with family (shh … don’t tell him! It’s a surprise!! ). It has been over a year and a half since we have seen our son Charles, so I’m excited about being able to spend some time with him and his wife Rebecca. And Miss Munchkin is currently in Alabama with her Alabama grandparents, so we should be able to see her too! AND several of my siblings are making the trek to Alabama also, so I anticipate lots of family time. I am so excited about this trip!
While talking about this trip, I have noticed an odd thing. Whenever I begin to talk of going back home, I say we are going to New York, when in my mind I am picturing Alabama and I actually mean Alabama. I have noticed that I have been doing this ever since we moved away from Alabama. We moved to Alabama in 1995, lived there for twelve years, and for most of that time “going home” meant traveling to New York. But since we moved to Florida in 2007, and now here to Arizona, “going home” has meant Alabama to me, even though my brain still seems to say the words “New York.” It’s very odd and very confusing to the person I’m speaking to. “New York?” they say. “No, I mean Alabama!” I say. Obviously my brain needs to make some new pathways to my mouth, because I am definitely thinking Alabama and picturing Alabama in my mind!
I am not sure when Alabama replaced New York in my mind as “home.” I know when we made all the trips back to New York in 2000 – 2002 (5 trips in a 21-month period), that I was still going back home then. But when we made our last trip to New York in 2006, it was not home. Home then was in Alabama. And, much as I loved Tallahassee and loved living in Florida, it’s pretty obvious that we didn’t live there long enough for me to make the “mental move” as I am never referring to Florida when I speak of home. It is still north Alabama. I wonder how long I will have to live in one place before “home” becomes somewhere else. Or will Alabama always be home in my mind?