I hope that late January-early February 2011 will go down on my personal record books as the time in which I wrote the least.  I’ve missed blogging, reaching into myself for images and allusions, and reaching out to the internets at the same time.

A brief recap: I went “home” for about two weeks, traversing the cotton, rice, and tobaccy fields of Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia.  I spent many hours in economy class seats on United and in luxury SUVs on the various interstates that weave through the South like capillaries, and so I had much time to reflect on “home.”

In the weeks leading up to my Dixie trip, I talked incessantly of “going home,” of eating shrimp creole and walking the red dirt roads of the Big Farm in Georgia.  In the same breath, I spoke with longing of the mysterious live oaks anchoring St. Simons Island firmly to the Atlantic sea bed, of the Southern delicacies awaiting my palate in incomparable Charleston, of the misty Blue Ridge mountains where I learned to love pulling mountain air deep into my lungs, and of the Virginia boxwoods that would still be green in winter’s grasp.

Honeydew laughed delightedly, which of course made me mad.  “What is so funny about my desire to go home and be a child of the South once more before raising a child of the West?” I asked him with fire in my eyes.  And he gently pointed out to me that my talk of “home” is much like my talk of “favorites” and “bests” – just as I can never choose between the Hot Buns and the Livers, Grandma Ivey’s Kahlua cake or Grandma Betty’s caramel cake, the Natahki Lakes or Snowmoon Basin, when “home” comes out of my mouth it has a multi-faceted meaning.

And I found that during my time in the South, I not only thought about what home means for me, but that I also spoke of home constantly.  And by home I meant this:

The warehome.  Hillhouse.  The old Bar X 6.  By any other name, my home on the 49th parallel, just east of Glacier National Park.

And when I finally arrived “home” from my wonderful Southern sojourn, the winds roared up to 114MPH and the roads closed behind me as if to say: stay.

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co. All Rights Reserved.