Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Return

When my parents first moved to Sioux Falls, they didn't intend to be there more than five or six years.

After all, they were -- by all intents and purposes -- West River folks, and in South Dakota that means something. Mom's family was entirely near Rapid; Dad's was more scattered, but his preference was toward the Hills and the ranch where his grandfather still lived. They were married in the Hills, went to college here, spent their first few years together here, and had their first two kids here. Sioux Falls was an opportunity but not an endpoint.

That was 1986.

We moved to Sioux Falls, moved around Sioux Falls, aged and expanded. Shorty was born there; Mia Sorella and I started school there. We fell into the usual full life of Midwest families, and before long we were firmly entrenched and the thought of returning to the Hills faded.

Now, 28 years later, my parents are moving back to Rapid City.

This should probably feel strange.

They've lived in the same house for twenty years. It's the house all three of us kids really grew up in, the house we all returned to (the two of us girls in particular), the only place all three of us kids have common memories. We've watched the seedlings we planted become real trees, the neighborhood fill and evolve. We've gained and lost pets, including a couple that were there longer than I was.

You know. Life. The kind that passes over two decades.

And now they're leaving. But the strangest part about that is that it really doesn't seem strange at all.

For the three of us kids, it's just a matter of visiting our parents elsewhere. Not so deep down, we will miss the house -- the familiarity, the memories, the fact that we all know our way around that kitchen. But as we've grown up, we've each grown away from the area itself. None of us really considers Sioux Falls home; our friends aren't all there and our lives aren't there. We'll miss the house, but the town? Eh.

Our parents leaving seems ... natural. They're going to a place that already feels like home. There are already friends here (besides, you know, me) and they already know the town. They can find the post office, some of their favorite restaurants (and mine), even already have a church in mind.

All they're missing is a house.

So for now, my dad resides in my spare bedroom while Mom gets the old house ready to sell. While I'm sure there will be some tears shed -- after all, they've had an entire lifetime there -- the excitement is building as they look for a house out here and make the plans that will start the next phase of life.

It's a good change.

And hey, we can all adjust to a new kitchen.

1 comment:

Jo said...

We'll miss the house too Ashley, lots of great memories there! One in particular comes to mind...2000 New Year's Eve party. Everyone was there and we all made glasses that said 2000, thanks to Brenda.