I remember the day I left. When Milwaukee became a temporary home. I had packed all of my clothes and a few other things in bags and waited in the living room for my friend’s dad to pick me up. We were on our way to college. LaCrosse, Wisconsin to be exact.
I was the last to be picked up. Our friend’s dad driving the three of us up I94 then across I90. An almost three hour trip. I was 17 and worried, scared by what I was getting myself into. The drive is beautiful and goes quickly. I always looked forward to the smell of the brewery right as we passed the 35th street exit.
I came home at the end of my first year of college. Spent two months working at a frozen custard place and spending time with my family and friends. The next summer I decided to stay in La Crosse. August of 1994 was the last time I lived at home.
I don’t know if I ever came to terms with the idea that Milwaukee was no longer home. There was always a part of me that felt pulled, that wherever I was living, was not really home. La Crosse, Ames, Madison, even Chicago. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved aspects of everyplace I’ve lived and have met some amazing people along the way. I got married and started a family in Chicago. I became a foodie in Chicago. So it’ll always have a special place for me/us. But there was always something calling me home.
By the time you read this (this is a scheduled post), I’ll be making my way to Milwaukee.
I’m coming home.
Unsure of what this new adventure will bring, I know that I’ve only been more excited 3 other times in my life. When she said yes, and when my kids were born. Here are some things I’m looking forward to:
- Spending more quality time with my family
- Helping my mom make tamales
- Hosting dinner parties
- Watching my kids grow up with their cousins
- Being more active in my community
- Getting involved in the poetry scene
- Trying new restaurants
- Launching a new website focused on Milwaukee things (more info to come)
- Raising my family in Milwaukee proper
- Reconnecting my heart with the city I love
This is not a final list. I’m sure it’ll change once it hits me that I’m a Milwaukee resident again.
If you’re reading this, and you’re from Milwaukee, I am not asking for a homecoming.
I’m just asking for a welcome.