I am a Maryland girl. I was born and raised for a period of time in Washington, DC, but in my heart of hearts…I’m from Maryland. I have a big tin of Old Bay Seasoning in my cabinet (because what self-respecting Marylander doesn’t), crave Thrasher’s fries and Dolle’s caramel corn on a regular basis, think of mountains as soft and rolling like the Blue Ridge rather than sharp and steep like the Rockies, and likely have a combination of salt, fresh and brackish water running through my veins (because the Chesapeake Bay is actually an estuary which has all three).
Maryland is neither north nor south having straddled the Mason-Dixon line for the better part of the last 300 years. Most of the state has very little accent save for the group near D.C who put an “r” in the word wash (as in Warshington), the group from deep southern Maryland who sound like they’re from the deep, deep south, and the group from points north of Baltimore who sound just like they are from Philadelphia. We have bays and beaches and mountains and lots and lots of places where not only George Washington slept but most of the Founding Fathers’ laid their heads as well. In fact, MD is a hotbed for political activity and personalities. (Camp David is in MD you know). We are the shit yo!
I’m finding that I get homesick less frequently but with greater intensity than I used to and that the only thing that will cure it is plant my feet in good old Maryland land. I need to soak up some salt air along with the stench of crooked local politics and fresh cut tobacco. I just need to go…home.
When this feeling comes over me, I begin to think about how and when I’m going to go. With whom I’ll stay. Whether or not I can make a trip to the ocean while I’m there or if I’ll just hang at the Bay. Who I’ll stop and visit and for how long. Maybe I can get a trip to the mountains in while we’re there and stop at my grandparents gravesite to maybe “tidy up” a bit. Or maybe not. I wonder how to get where I need to be while still managing to avoid the absolute nightmare that is the Capital Beltway. I know I need to grab a copy of the Washington Post – Sunday Edition and read my favorite comics and talk one of my friends into a crab feast while I’m there.
My daughter and her family are still there. My best friend is still there. My beach is there. My Bay is there. The city dock in Annapolis is there. My football team is there (don’t bust my chops, The Redskins play in Maryland); my baseball team is there (The Orioles). It’s where I met and fell in love with the hubs and where all my babies were born…all six of them! My first house is there and my favorite house is there and the only church to which I ever really belonged is there.
Of course my time there wasn’t all sunshine and unicorns. As we all know my upbringing wasn’t exactly Ozzie and Harriet (and if you’re too young to know what that means…Google it). Could I move back permanently? I doubt it. We’ve planted roots here. It’s a beautiful place to live and I love it.
But 8 hours north (by car) is home and every once in a while…I need to be there. I need to hug people and wander roads that I’d know in my sleep and see what’s changed and visit old haunts. Maybe it’s a result of the depression cycle I’m in or maybe it’s just been too long but whatever the reason, I feel a distinct pull to the north.
Now where did I put those ruby slippers…