Friday, October 29, 2010

What's in a home? part one: the past and somewhat present

I've lived in East Lansing for over 7.5 years now, and while it certainly does make me feel old, that's really not the issue (though that could be a whole different blog).  For the first 3.5 years or so, I never updated my driver's license to show my address as being in Lansing.  It'd always been in my hometown of Hamilton.  I figured there was no point to changing it, becuase I'd expected to find something stable soon.  A full-time job where I could make a place my home, instead of renting a room.  It didn't even have to be a house... an apartment of my own would've been fine.  Well, it certainly is testimony to naivete/stupidity, but about 4 years ago, I was in a minor accident.  The other car wasn't scratched at all, but my driver's side mirror was knocked loose.  Nonetheless, the officer who responded told me that I would have to change my permanent address to the current address or else face further fining.  I'm not sure if he has that authority, but at the time, I wasn't about to argue with him, so I did it. 

I wasn't happy about it then, but it was a good thing.  Though East Lansing has never really felt like home, going back to Hamilton has been a bit like the Twilight Zone... when I found out my old Quiz Bowl Coach (and I think he's still a football coach) now lives on a road that was on my bus route.  And all the private "roads" that have cropped up (y'know... driveways that are so long, they have a blue sign to note whose driveway it is).  It's kind of buzzkill to your sense of wanderlust to know that if you satisfy it, you'll be arrested on multiple counts of trespassing. 

Other changes include the ice cream joint that became a rib joint is now an ice cream joint again, under different ownership.  The grocery store having to be open on Sunday (not the manager's choice, btw).  A party store... growing up, there was the Quick Stop, but it wasn't a "party store" in the way you usually visualize a party store.  But they did have some pretty awesome pizza.  But now there's a more conventional party store in town.... before, you'd have to drive to the south side of Holland for a real party store.  As far as I know there's still no stoplight in the town, but that's bound to change, I'm sure.  And don't think it won't be a local tourist attraction either.

It's all so strange now.  Hardly feels like home.

But East Lansing doesn't either.  Never has.

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