Yesterday was just one of those days that will stay with me for awhile. I drove over to Monona, where I was born and visited my old neighborhood. It has been 31 years since I lived there, and very little has changed on Shore Acres Road. The convenience store where my sister and I used to bike up to and get a "Blue Moon" ice cream is no longer there. It appears that it was torn down only recently.
I drove out to Cottage Grove and visited my Dad's grave. I spent quite awhile there. It was hard to leave. I'm not sure why. I do miss him terribly.
My next stop was downtown Madison, where I visited the capitol building and walked down State Street. I made a stop at Steve and Barry's and at last purchased some Wisconsin Badger merchandise. I still love my Gamecocks, but being a Badger fan is bred into us at birth.
After an incredible visit to our great city, I stopped and visited with my Uncle John and my cousin Keri-Jo, after which we met up with my Aunt Sandi (Mom's sister) and cousin Jason and dined at Outback. Then they took me to visit the graves of my maternal grandparents. I miss them so much.
Then we said our goodbyes and I headed back to DeForest to Kimmy and Denis's. I slept like a log for the first time since I arrived last Thursday.
Today I pack up and head back to Milwaukee for an evening with the newlyweds, Ben and Joneen. Tomorrow I fly home.
It is strange how Wisconsin affects me. I absolutely love it here. I feel like I belong. In SC, though I love it there, too, I feel like a stranger, though I have lived there most of my life. I grew up in SC. Married there...twice. My children were all born there. Yet I still feel like only a visitor. Maybe this will pass once I am home and in the arms of my wife and children.
Maybe it won't. No matter where I land, Wisconsin is my home.
Either way, yesterday was a good day, and it will stay with me for a long time.