This past weekend I snuck back to Fredericksburg to see my family, and while I was there, I decided to take advantage of some comforts of home that I missed during my time so far here in Hampshire County.
I took a trip to Walmart with my mom. She needed stain remover and tri-colored pasta, and I needed those sticky things that you put on the bottom of shoes to add a little bit of grip, since I recently came into ownership of a pair of boots that tried to end it all for me when I tried them on in my living room.
My dad walked me through checking the oil in my car and putting some air in the tires. I’ll tell you, I’m not a gal who knows about cars. I know about shopping. I know about pop music from the early-to-mid 2000s. Because I’ve had several people explain it to me since my first column, I know about the rut. I do not know about cars. This is where my dad comes in.
I filled up my gas tank at a Wawa, where the price of gas per gallon was $2.18. I nearly cried tears of joy when I saw my total, as opposed to the falling-to-my-knees-and-cursing-the-gas-gods that happened when I spent $100,000,000 and promised away my first-born son after filling my tank here a couple of weeks ago.
I actually got to eat normal food while I was home, too. My mom actually knows how to cook, while during the whole month I’ve been living here I’ve been creating culinary masterpieces like chicken salad made from chicken that I bought at the store. The kind that comes in a can. The London broil and pasta salad Mom made was much appreciated, as you might imagine.
I am also not ashamed to tell you that I did, in fact, bring my laundry home. Yes, the bag weighed more than I do. Yes, I had run out of clean underpants. To my mother’s credit, she didn’t roll her eyes or tease me about the mountain of dirty clothes. Instead, she smiled and said, “It’s okay; it gives me the chance to be a mom for the day.”
I found myself doing a side-by-side comparison of Fredericksburg and Hampshire County throughout the whole weekend. When my brothers were asking me about my job and where I lived, I spoke about Hampshire County like I was still a guest. Like I was just on a prolonged visit, and I’d be moving all of my stuff back in a few weeks like I did when I was coming back for summer break from college.
I know that it’s going to take a little bit of time for me to feel like a resident of West Virginia. It’s going to take a West Virginia ID. It’s going to take making more friends here. It’s going to take more expensive gas tank fill-ups, cans of chicken and trips to the Laundromat.
I know that it’ll happen eventually, but sometimes it’s good to head back home and enjoy your roots for a weekend.
If not just to visit, then definitely for the cheap gas.