As I wover alked the streets in my old hometown the street names started coming back to me. I wondered how I found the parties when we were in high school without any GPS. Were there maps? We always knew how to find the house where the big party was. And as I walked by houses that reminded me of my own when I lived here I thought about how I could be living here now if I never left and traveled 3000 miles across the country? Looking out onto the bay where I have been so many times on my friend’s boats, I was reminded of how I wanted to leave this place as if it were infected with something. Of course, I realize the reasons were about me and the sadness and disappointment I experienced when my parent’s divorced…. and when my friends were all on paths that seemed so steady and logical and mine was not even close to that. And now, I’ve come home to my school friends and with their open arms and open hearts they cradle me and my husband as we walk through a period of life when there is illness in our family here. I ask myself what was so bad about this place? But over 30 years will do that. It will erase all the things and reasons why I wanted to leave and illuminate all the love and connection that is here now. On this cold early morning walk there is an apparent dichotomy with each block I pass…some of the houses look so old now and then there are the new modern houses that are being built. There are remnants of houses and the reconstruction that is taking place is everywhere, no doubt as a result from hurricane Sandy. Like the houses I pass; some under construction, some that are condemned and uninhabitable and that are reconstructed, I am reminded of life and all its relationships. I am deeply touched that these relationships which were constructed over 45 years ago have stood the test of time and absence and now are so strong that I feel I have regained a family. That’s what happens with strong and sturdy foundations.