Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My Bubble

No, I don't have a contagious infection.  I'm not prone to accidents.  I'm not Marge Simpson living in the movie version of the Simpson's.  But I live in a bubble.  This bubble is my hometown.  I grew up in 'old' New Berlin, where the only entertainment we had was sitting at Calhoun Park or Valley View Park on the weekends, hanging out at friends houses having bonfires, or venturing past 124th street to go cruise Highway 100.  I took the leap and went to Whitewater for a year.  Only for a year, because I met my future husband on Day 1 (thank you Lori & John), and we both left after our 2nd semester.  Our first apartment was in West Allis, just two and half miles from where Doug grew up, and a mere 10 miles from where I grew up.  Our first house, just a block and half from Doug's childhood home, and just over nine miles from mine.

With the exception of that single year at college, I've never lived outside that 10 mile radius.  I've never wanted to leave, until the last few years. As a family, we've fallen in love with St. Germain.  The lifestyle, the quiet.  As I approach mid-life (wow, that sounds old), I think of this current bubble serving as more of a padded cell.

Every time I run into New Berlin, I pass landmarks that chronicle my childhood.  My old job at GMR sits on the property that once housed my brother-in-laws home.  The corner across the street from my job at MSB now sits a McDonald's where once there was nothing.   The car wash place that stands where Storms used to be and we spent many hours hitting balls at Andy and crew when they were picking them up. The church where not only I was baptized, but our children were baptized, and where we were married, as were two of my four siblings, and my nephew soon to be married in August. That church stands across the street from a parking lot that once housed the restaurant where our reception was held, and the now-defunct IGA where I had my first (real) job and we used to goof around in back.  Let's not forget about the new Dunkin Donuts where Burger King used to stand, next to Taco Bell where Katie and I would go in on Friday nights and she would order Tacos without lettuce.  Or driving my baby blue Cutlass and having Rick and Juston think it was funny to turn on the firetruck light in their car and pull me over.

Fast forward to the bubble of West Allis, and we drive by Doug's childhood home to get to our home, same location of our second apartment, where Shawn learned to walk.  We drive by Wilson school, where not only Doug attended, but our boys too.  The same school where we learned to let Ryan venture out on his own, after keeping a tight leash on his older brother.  We drive by the boys middle school on the way to his brothers.  We spend every afternoon at Nathan Hale watching football practice and games from August until November.  It's the place where I've taken thousands of pictures and created memories that will never fade.

The bubble also includes my friends and family...both local and distant.  I follow a glimpse into everyone's life through social media, knowing full well what I see on screen may not be reality.

The new bubble includes St. Germain, Sayner, Eagle River, Minoqua, Boulder Junction...  It's our home away from home.  It's the place where we relax and forget about life, even if just for a weekend or a lucky long week.  It's the place where I can explore my photography, or where I think up new ideas for the two books that I'm hoping to publish.  It's the place where I can turn on my music, strap on my helmet and just drive through the woods.

The bubble allows a place to be me.  I've never needed to be near the mall, or nightlife.  I'm not one to go out drinking with friends, I did that in my youth.  I would rather curl up in a chair, covered in a blanket, with a good book where I can get lost in my own head even if for a little while.  Sometimes I wonder if that makes me antisocial.  I'm not opposed to going out, it just doesn't ever seem to go that way...maybe it's just the invites drying up.

I wonder, if and when we move, how much the bubble will change.  One thing is certain, albeit a padded cell, I'll always think of both New Berlin and West Allis as home.

No comments:

Post a Comment