The earliest portion of my life was spent divided between California, Texas, and the town of Waterloo, Iowa before my family settled into the house my mother still currently occupies (and incidentally, this is the same house that she was raised in as well) in what is essentially the middle-of-nowhere, Iowa. I seldom saw friends growing up though I don't remember ever being bothered by this until I neared my teenage years; after all, I had the freedom to explore the land around us to no end. My brother and I spent the majority of our time outdoors, running around, exploring, creating fables of the Indians we imagined once occupied the land we stood upon.
I always felt a great need to take care of the land we were on (I'd like to think it was inherent but it's more likely that my 6AM Saturday ritual viewings of Captain Planet and Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures played a large role in creating the feeling of responsibility for Mother Earth) and even now, when I go back to visit, I feel immense gratitude for the privilege of having the childhood I did. Iowa is not my "forever" place, but it is extremely beautiful.
This recent trip was short and very laid-back; I spent most of the time hanging around the family home and stealing my mother's car in the early morning hours to drive on gravel roads. It seems strange to me now that something I once avoided at all costs has become such a luxury.
For now, it's back to public transit. But I'll be home for Christmas.
Oh, another update: my website is in the midst of a makeover. Once it's up, the fruits of a project I began in Iowa and am continuing work on will be up.