"The traffic is about to start to get heavy," I said.
My husband smirked at me from the driver's seat. I knew what he was thinking, so I just smiled back. When we were dating, I'd driven the 90 mile drive from Atlanta where I lived to the military post where he lived almost every weekend. It'd been over ten years since this drive had been part of my weekly routine. But I knew. Atlanta traffic is always a mess in the heart of the city's spaghetti junction.
Five minutes and two miles later, we're gridlocked.
"Well, you would know." he says with a laugh.
Our kids have never been to Columbus, Georgia, but they've grown up on stories about it. About the alligators in the rivers and ponds, about Daddy living in the barracks at the military base with a group of wild friends, about Mama making the drive every weekend to visit them. They've heard about Daddy coming back from deployments and Mama being there to meet him off the plane, about the little apartment we lived in after we got married, and the two dogs we adopted, one who has gone to doggie heaven and one who is their pet now still. They know that we fished in the river, and that the summers were humid and hot, and that there were friends there that we loved very much.
So this summer we decided to take them there for vacation. To see our beginning.
We drove. And on the second day of our mini road trip, we pulled into town. And as we turned onto an exit that I had taken countless times, we rolled down the windows. The humid heat filled the truck. My husband sighed.
"Something about it just feels like home, doesn't it?" he said.
"Yes." I replied. "It feels like home."
We grew up in California. So, nothing about the South should logically feel like home. But Columbus does. We've lived on the East Coast for almost a year now, and I felt more at home the five days we were in Georgia in our tiny rented cabin then I do here most days, or even the six years we lived in Texas.
I think sometimes in a person's life, you have a perfect combination to make days never be forgotten. Love and friends and war and first puppies made a solid foundation which our whole life has been built on. The Georgia Years are never to be forgotten days.
Yes, it feels like home.