June 09, 2014

Day 8: Feels Like Home

Everyone will say that their hometown is the best hometown.  But unless they're from Baltimore, they're just being sentimental.  And they're also wrong.

Okay, technically I'm not even from Baltimore.  But when people ask where you're from, if you say the name of a preppy little suburban town 20 minutes north of Baltimore, it's like telling them you're a blogger: that glazed over, placating smile and nod that says, "I have no idea what the hell you're talking about but I wish you would stop."

But even though I'm not from the city, I still consider it home.  Three generations ago, my dad's side of the family walked straight off the boat from Poland into a little townhouse on the Inner Harbor and never looked back.  Or anywhere else, for that matter.

My grandparents never left the city.  My grandma tells me stories about walking to work at Johns Hopkins.  My grandpa calls everyone "hon."  I've never actually lived there, but there's still something about it that makes me feel at home.  A home I wouldn't walk around in after dark, but home nonetheless.

There's just something about eating grilled sausage and peppers on a roof deck with the Natty Boh man winking at you in the distance that feels like home.  Something about no one being surprised that there is an "Old Bay Summer Ale" on tap because, well, Old Bay goes on everything else... why not beer?  Something about picking up a bushel (or a few) of live crabs from a pickup truck on the corner for your crab feast tonight.  Something about watching your grandpa pull a steamed crab out from under his pile of picked shells at the feast when you thought the last bushel was gone, the foresight of an experienced crab picker.  Something about Camden Yards with old friends, whether you like baseball or would rather watch white paint dry on a white wall.

The whole "new city, new job" thing is definitely getting old, but this time it feels different.  I still may not be entirely sure where the copy room is in my new office, but at least now I can come home to Baltimore on the weekends without the help of Southwest.  And there's something about it that's pretty great.

“Home is where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” 
- Robert Frost