This summer my husband and I took a short road trip to Idaho for a dear friend's wedding. I hadn't been back to Idaho since my sophomore year of high school, so I was excited to spend a little time showing my husband around my old hangouts.
I tend to measure spans of my life with the homes I lived in. Whenever I bring up a story from middle school or high school I always reference the "Idaho House", the one with the big playroom that had the large window we would sneak into late at night. The same house where we had sleepovers on the trampolines all summer long. I even remember a time my sister and I ran away from home one summer, only to return a couple hours later because it was just too hot outside. No one in the house even noticed our absence, let alone bothered to read our letter of dissatisfaction left by the front door.
When we got into town a few months back, nothing was how I remembered it to be. All the streets were smaller and far more busy. We visited the coffee shop where we'd hang out when we skipped morning classes and it didn't feel cool or hip, just dingy. Even the Idaho House just looked like a regular old house, on a regular old street in someone else's neighborhood. When we were driving home from our short stay, I couldn't figure out why so much of our trip felt empty to me. It wasn't until I got home and looked through all my photos that I realized that Idaho has become so much like a desert to me. I mean technically, it is a desert, but there was so much life when my family and friends lived there. I realized that even a place so dry and stale could become overwhelmingly lush with the right people in it.