08 July 2010

oh Bakersfield

There are certain things that remind me of home.
Faux Tilt-Shift
And I'm not talking about my true home, which has been, and forever will always be right here on my happy little island.

But the place I grew up. Bakersfield, California.

The place I couldn't wait to get out of.

The place I always felt like a fish out of water in.

The place where a lot of great things happened for me and a lot of things I hate thinking about too.

I don't know why I get so embarrassed when I think about my growing up years. I think we all went through the painfully awkward stuff and so I am not unique or alone in that, but I still cringe when I see pictures of some old boyfriend online or when an old VHS of a play I was in resurfaces, or when I think about how much I let things get to me in High School and how alone I let myself feel when I had good friends all along.

So our hometowns are like big, heavy leather trunks tucked away in the attic of our memory, storing all the past anxieties, disappointments, learning experiences, and triumphs too.

But so much time has passed since I have actually lived there that I find myself wishing to be there and I think that is because

Kimball and Betty Hawkins, my own sweet parents, live there.

And my sisters family.

And my old haunts and hangouts.

And a few treasured friends.

And my childhood home.

And all that good Mexican food and Barbecue.

And so we are excited! And even made a paper-chain.

And in 14 days this current mother of two, wife, Hawaiian heart and soul, homemaker, English teacher, lap swimmer, crafty version of me will visit Las Vegas, Utah, Newport Beach, and yes, Bakersfield, California and I'll run my fingers over my homecoming queen crown, and watch the old obnoxious drama nerd VHS tapes, and swim in my parents pool without a care again and avoid some people as best I can while catching a glimpse of the old haunts and hopefully reconnect with some dear friends as well.

I'm looking forward to it.

17 comments:

melissa marie said...

i can't decide if this post makes me wish i had a hometown or glad that i don't have one. well, which is it!

but seriously, parents with a pool! that makes up for any discomfort you may find there.

Anna K. said...

I love Bakersfield! I wish we were able to visit around the same time...o well! I hope you have a blast! After going there this last week I realized I could totally live there because I really truly actually enjoyed it! I never thought I would feel that way...but I did and I realized that I love Bakersfield! haha Bakersfield pride all the way! But you are right, there are funny awkward memories that will always linger....but there are good ones too that just make it more exciting to go back to the good ol' home town!

Our Blog Spot said...

WE WANT TO SEE YOU when you come to the mainland. We live in Huntington now-a-days, so when you hit up Newport, PLEASE DO NOT FORGET US (everyone does---and I'm fed up with it! ha.)

lorieloo said...

I'm excited that you're excited. And I do hope we reconnect, and that I'm not one of the ones you avoid =) hehe

stef j. said...

homecoming queen, eh?

have a fun vaca there, friend.

(i'm not saying much cause i'm jealous and wanna visit the mainland too... so post much please. vicarious living will get me through...)

Megan and Keli'i said...

Huh, I really, really relate to this post. Oh the past. This is my home now too.

Homecoming Queen, Steph? Wow, that's big time. :).

Alli said...

I am glad I am not the only one that gets embarrassed when I think of my time there (although I do love it). It's also nice to know that I am not the only on that avoids certain people.

laurel said...

Homecoming Queen Crown? For reals?? Oh dang... you were soooo much cooler than I was. But who knew even the homecoming Queen had anxieties and dissapointments. I guess we all really are just human though I could swear that some of those kings queens princes and princesses were part extra-terrestrial with what seemed to me to be super-human social ease and popularity. Awe well, pardon me, I know that I may be getting off track a bit with what this post is really about. I actually really like your writing in this post. I think it is very relatable (except for the homecoming queen crown part- haha). I'm happy for you that you have such a fun adventure coming up that I know you have been looking forward to for a really really long time now. Is Bakersfield really far South? I'm wondering how far it is from Placerville. Anyway, I am sure you will be really busy with so many people to see.

Megan Swansonn said...

I just can't wait for you to come visit! I totally can relate to everything in this post (minus the homecoming queen part). But I'm with you on the avoiding people. But please don't avoid me! Let's hang out together, and make grilled cheese on sourdough like Betty taught me to make, maybe even watch the drama nerd VHS tapes together, and yes swim. I miss you my friend. Can't wait to meet your beautiful family. And see Kimball and Betty again! I don't think I've seen them since my wedding. Crazy. I love you!

Megan Swansonn said...

I just can't wait for you to come visit! I totally can relate to everything in this post (minus the homecoming queen part). But I'm with you on the avoiding people. But please don't avoid me! Let's hang out together, and make grilled cheese on sourdough like Betty taught me to make, maybe even watch the drama nerd VHS tapes together, and yes swim. I miss you my friend. Can't wait to meet your beautiful family. And see Kimball and Betty again! I don't think I've seen them since my wedding. Crazy. I love you!

Bitty said...

Oh Steph how I understand your feelings of home. Have a wonderful time. Can't wait to see you.

Ashley said...

That is if you can find your crown! I wore it around a lot the last time I was there....I'm not kidding.

betsy said...

What was that about a homecoming crown?
make sure you eat up lots of good californian-mexican food for me.

ashley said...

exciting! love going home! you guys are going to have such a great trip!

liko said...

vacations seriously rock.

loving it!!!

and you will be, too, in a few days...
woohoo!!!!

Robbie said...

Yeah there's a difference between what you call "home" and the place you call your "hometown"! Have fun on your trip. We'll miss you at the beach and around Laie!

Ella Jane's Mommy said...

I do believe there are many of us that went through the awkward phases and the HATE of school. As a matter of fact, that would be why I left high school!! I totally understand the avoiding people. I have to do it all the time and I live here! haha, I hope you have a safe trip and it sounds like it would be a lot of fun. I definitely do believe life would have been totally different if I know what I do now. Homecoming queen?? YOU ROCK!