Sunday, February 3, 2013


I am a Downton Abby fan.
I just love it.
I have this built in love of England that I cannot escape.
Its in my genes.
I’ve never been there, but I think my blood recalls it.

There was one day, years ago now, when I drove away from my parent’s Illinois farm house, down our country road, with my cousin, and we saw someone on horseback. I turned to her and said, “Do you know what would be the ultimate in hotness? An English Cowboy.”
I was sure this was a figment of my imagination.
There was no wild west in England, as far as I knew.
But you see, my dad grew up in Montana, so the cowboy’s soul is also in my veins.
Not that I can ride, or do anything cowboy like. But the heart beats in me.

I thought I had come up with the combo all on my own. Really.
Just the idea of the accent and the essence.

I had no idea, when those words left my mouth, that the English blood that courses my veins, had come to America carried by my Great Grandfather who moved to Montana to live as a cowboy.

I find it so utterly intriguing. I feel like I remembered something I never knew.

So I think, when I watch Downton Abby, there are pieces of me raining down on my skin --- its just that I don’t really know which pieces.
What I do know is, the scenery opens me up.
Takes me away from Iowa.
Makes me want to go outside. Right now. And BE.

When my eyes come off of the TV to my living room, I forget what’s outside my window -- a town surrounded by flat land made of corn and soybean feilds--
And I remember instead another place, a different place that I am made of.

My Grandpa’s cottage in Michigan. (This is my Mom’s dad.)
I grew up more blessed that I could have ever know, getting to go there every summer and then some holidays. We spent many Thanksgivings there, crammed around a table that just barely held us. (Well, I, of course, was at the kids table (and I loved it!)) We went there for the 4th of July and played with sparklers and “snakes” while the boys set off bottle rockects into the creek at the bottom of the hill. And when we weren’t down at the creek, our family would drive 5 minutes down the road, to the beach on Lake Michigan. Cherry Beach. That’s the beach where I wanted to (and did) get married.
The cottage is to me, a fairy tale place. Every little thing about it. And it’s woven deep down into my muscles. I feel it sometimes when it is rainy outside, like the ache of something once broken.
I miss it so much, while being here in Iowa.
I miss it’s smells. (And if you’ve been there you know it smells shut up and musty. But I miss it all the same.) I miss the sound of my feet walking on the sand-dirt roads, especially if it’s just rained. I miss the wind on my skin as I take in the lake. And the stairs that make your legs burn to get down there. (Or back up again.) I miss the secret hole my dad and grandpa cut into the floorboards upstairs, just so I could have a secret hiding spot. I miss the pine trees. I miss getting  dirty --- so, so dirty. Pebbles flicked up, stinging skin, flung by three-wheelers going down to the track, and coming back to find my face freckled by mud and my lungs blown clear. And the sand, the sand that is perpetually in the bedsheet, no matter how hard we tried not to get it there.

Oh I miss it.

Something about Downton Abby smells like the cottage to me.

And I want to go somewhere I know.
I want to go so bad.

I’m aching.

I’ve started to get used to Iowa.
But its not in me.

There are other places and other things.
And they are humming in me.
And I don’t know what to do with their song.
Because I am here.
You know?

My parents were here for my birthday this weekend.
And I loved it. I felt like me.
But they had to go home.
And I feel like I’m left trying to figure out how to make this home.
At least for now.
Because I’m left feeling home sick.

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