The 52 Project – a portrait series of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2013
These photos were taken on the street that Sam grew up on. The street that his parents still live. Before heading up to our cabins in Wisconsin last week, we were able to stay one day at his parents house in Minnesota. I’ll never get over the beauty of that place. It’s such a different kind of beauty than here. All the lakes and trees….green for miles. Maybe that is why I appreciate it so much. On the one night we were there, we decided to take a walk around his old neighborhood just before the sun went down. We had been cooped up in cars and airplanes all day, it felt good to get our legs moving again and soak up that golden Minnesota sun.
We got to talking about “home”, and what that meant. For me, California is the only place I’ve ever called home. My sister’s and I were all actually born in Chicago, (so I still claim a small part of the midwest as my own), but we moved out here before I was 2, so you can almost call me a California native. Sam however, has moved a lot. His childhood was spent in MN, college years in TX, a short stint in Australia, back the MN, then out to California…where he met me, and obviously, I wasn’t letting him go! But I’ve always wondered what it would be like if I had ever moved away. Or especially, if I had ended up raising a family somewhere different than the state I was raised. Away from family and all the things I once knew. What would it be like to go back? I asked this question to Sam. Of course, men are much less sentimental about these sorts of things than us women, but for him, Minnesota doesn’t feel like home at all. It’s not because he doesn’t love it there, it’s just because for him, all of his best memories, growth and life changing experiences happened elsewhere.
I don’t know what my life would look like today had Sam not had an adventurous heart and landed in California. Who knows, maybe home for me would be somewhere totally unexpected…..but I sure am thankful he found me. Sometimes I feel selfish for bringing him into “my world” and not thinking twice about the adjustments he has had to make in entering a close knit family who spends a lot of time together. His family of 6 is spread out among 5 different states, so to say our situations are different is an understatement. By the way, Sam has the most AMAZING family. Their distance says nothing about their love for each other. It’s just how the cards fell. So, although California has always been my home, it’s now our home. And honestly, home will always be wherever I’m with him. And Ry, of course. When money gets tight and taxes want to make us throw up, we like to dream about moving to some big porched house in Nashville. But at the end of the day, we both just really love it here. And selfishly, I think it would be pretty hard for me to move away from my family. They are my comfort zone and my best friends. I am sure if an opportunity arose, I could muster up the courage….but that would have to be one insane opportunity!
Cali, I think we’re here to stay.