Timing is a funny thing. I've been thinking of home the last few days....not Cincinnati, or the home before that (Kingsport, Tennessee), or two college towns that served as host for 2 years each, but home. My real home - the wide spot in the road and the prairie surrounding zip code 58790.

Add to that the fact that when I grabbed my email this morning, the email version of the New York Times had an interesting series of stories about the population drain from small towns on the great plains. I'd link directly to the story but I can't find the link directly from the Times website. (By the way, it's a free subscription site and well worth entering your info.)

So...I've got thoughts of home & the Times story about the great exodus of youth (of which I am arguably a part of) rolling around my head when I get ready to leave the house. When the garage door opens, I find the ground lightly covered with my native area's main natural resource...snow. Now, North Dakotans would proudly say "Nah, that's not snow. Now, back in '99 when co-op lost all them telephone poles, she was a snowstorm. Ice too. You betcha." Nevertheless, it was enough to remind me where I've come from.

I've had thoughts of going back the last few weeks. Not moving back...I just don't see that happening...but returning for a visit - something I've not done in six years or so, since I drove the moving truck containing my mothers' things from ND to Ohio so she could live with us. I'd like to wander the land that my father farmed for 40 years....to show my boys where the spring is on the southeast corner of the property, and the spot where foxes always made a den on the hayland. I'd like to take my boys to the little park that sits across the bridge from the school (literally, THE school!) and let them ride their bike on the same bare dirt path that went from one side of the park to the other (if you're from Velva and reading this - does that path still exist? is that huge rock still there by the cabin? Let me know!).

The snow on the ground and the blips on my Treo tell me that the trip won't happen any time soon...but it will happen. Kelsey and I will load our SS Family Truckster much like Meriwether Lewis loaded his keelboat, and I-29 will be our Missouri River. With the boys stowed in their seats and the front of the truck littered with cd's and McTrash, we'll venture north. To the place the Rutgers' proffessors wanted to turn into a Buffalo Commons. To the place I came from. I look forward to it.

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