For those who don’t know, my husband grew up in the flatlands of central Illinois surrounded by cornfields and soybeans.
Last Thursday we made the trek north back to his homeland.
This particular cornfield is just down the street from the house where he grew up.
That’s the house where Christopher grew up (way up ahead surrounded by trees). He really did grow up surrounded by cornfields and soybeans. In fact, he paid for my engagement ring by “walking beans”(clearing weeds out of soybean fields) and being a lifeguard at the pool in town. 🙂
Christopher spent 17 years living in this house before he went off to college. His parents sold the house and moved south during his junior year of college. I will never forget how difficult it was for him to say goodbye to the place he grew up. So every time we go to Illinois, we always stop by and see his old house again. Thankfully now that so much time has passed, it’s no longer bittersweet for him to see this house – just sweet memories of growing up here. 🙂
Old Route 66 runs by close to where he grew up. So we always stop to check it out when we’re in town. 🙂
Soybeans for miles. Central Illinois really is a beautiful place.
I have lived in twelve different houses/apartments/homes in my nearly 27 years on this earth. I am no stranger to packing up, saying goodbye, and moving. When we lived in China during my teen years, we would come back to the States for the summers so I grew very used to packing up everything I owned in a couple of suitcases and being on the go. I remember being so confused when Christopher had such mixed feelings about his parents selling the house where he grew up. I empathized with his feelings of loss, but I didn’t understand having them over a house. He knew it was the right decision for them and he was excited to have them living closer, but it was hard for him to say goodbye to a place that held so many memories.
Last year, my grandfather sold the house that he had lived in since my mom was a little girl. As much as I have moved around in my life, that house was always a second home to me. Stable. Solid. Always there for me to come back to. I had no idea how attached I was to it until I found out it was going on the market. For the first time in my life, I really understood (not just empathized) with Christopher’s feelings of loss over four walls and a roof. After a couple of months, though, the bittersweet faded into just simply sweet. I’m so thankful for all the years of memories in that home just as I know Christopher is over his house in Illinois. And now we have a beautiful home together where we get to build hundreds more memories of our new family. 🙂