Dear Home town....

My beloved City that still breathes,

I've spent most of my life saying that I didn't "grow up any where, I grew up every where" due to in a large part to the fact that I had lived in 4 differen provinces by the time I turned 12. But I as sit and reflect on the fact that I'm once again leaving you I have to admit, you. are. home.

I use to envy my husband because he had one place that was his concrete hometown. He lived, worked, went to school and breathed that town his entire life. Sure he got out of there as fast as humanly possible when he turned 18 with the intention of never going back to stay. But he still had a place to call home. I see the peace and joy on his face as we turn off the highway onto the gravel road he's traveled down for almost 30 years towards the house he grew up in and the farmland he explored and played on. I realize now, I've always had a place to call home, I just never actually thought about it.

It goes beyond the fact that my Oma is here, my Aunt, Uncles, Cousins, sister-in-law, niece, friends are here. It goes beyond the fact that I went to preschool here, I graduated from high school here, I got my first job here, my first broken heart, my first grown up job. My first speeding ticket. My heart has always lead me back to you. No matter how far I wander. You are here waiting for me with your -40 in the winter, your mosquitos the size of small cats and your confusion corner. You are my place of comfort, familiarity, joy and safety. You are my gravel road off the highway.

You are my place of little moments. People watching at the Forks. Breakfast on a patio in the Exchange. Beer on a different patio in a different part of the Exchange. Frisbee at Assiniboine Park. The Witch's House. The word "Trashcona". Garbage hill.

Where else can I say the word "jambuster" and have people know that it's a jelly doughnut first and a derby name second? Slurpee capital of the world! Smog free existance. Home of a Chubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff. The only place in the world where I can  rub Mr. Eaton's foot for good luck.

You gave the world, Neil Young, the Guess Who, The Crash Test Dummies, Sir William Stephenson (the guy James Bond is based on), Monty Hall, Bif Naked, Fred Penner. But you gave me some of my fondest memories. Eating Watermelon on the front porch. My Oma and Opa's back yard. My first set (and only set) of stitches. My first root beer float. My love of fireworks. My love of walking every where. My love of good coffee. My derby family. My neice. My running across portage ave in a praire downpour in the middle of summer wearing a dress. Those are priceless. Those are things I'm going to take with me as we embark on our new adventure.

I know we haven't always had the best relationship. I remember at 15 declaring I hated it here after my family moved back. In my defense, I was 15, I hated everything. I know I have complained about your winters, your summers, your construction, your potholes that could swallow RVs whole. Your icy sidewalks, your cyclists, your lack of an Ikea and the fact that people park in the loading zone for hours in front of my apartment. But there is so much good in you that I am more than willing to overlook the bad.

I promise, I will always find my way home.

Warmest Regards,

A Prairie Girl