Driving to work today I was thinking of how well I know the roads in our area. If there's a jam on the interstate, we can comfortably get off, snaking and skirting our way through backroads to reach our destination. Someone needs directions? No problem, I've got this. If rains come, we know which creeks might flood and roads to avoid. At night, we know which roads to go slow and watch for animals who are out and about. And in the spring, I can tell you which houses have the prettiest flowers blooming in their yards.
We've both grown up here, and though we left for about 5 years, it seems we've travelled these roads forever. Chris's time as a sheriff's deputy made him even more geographically familiar with the area.
In high school, we knew where the road parties were, the fastest way home before curfew or the quietest places to park on a date :) When going to the city (St. Louis), we know which bridge over the Mighty Mississippi to take depending on the time of day, where to jump off to avoid congestion or just a back route with a more scenic view or a great little diner. I can still remember where Chris hit a tree on a foggy road when he shouldn't have come to see me, where my dad taught me to shift gears or where my Grandpa K and I picked wild plums in the summertime. Each Friday my mom and I took the same curvy roads to town to fix Grandma K's hair, run errands and bring feed home to the farm.
These roads make me feel at home.
I'll always know the roads here like the back of my hand, but look forward to driving (or better yet, being driven) on those new and unknown.