Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June 5 Photo: Sign

In anticipation of today’s photo, over the past few days I’ve been keeping my eyes open for a particularly interesting, funny, or photogenic sign. I’ve checked out a few rusty bus stop signs, a curiously bent stop sign, and a few oddly-named-street signs, but nothing really struck me as being worthy of today’s photo. Until I pulled into my own driveway and saw the “Baldwin Road” sign.
This sign isn’t especially interesting, funny, or photogenic, nor is “Baldwin Road” a particularly odd or unusual street name. But what it is (to me, anyway) is meaningful. The first time I ever saw that street sign, I was nervously pulling up to an unfamiliar house belonging to a relatively unfamiliar (but much-liked) person. I had been on a few dates with him, and he had invited me to meet him at his house and we would spend the day at King Richard’s Faire. It was our first “long date” and our first long car ride, and I was more than a bit nervous. What if I ran out of things to say? What if things went badly early in the day and we were awkwardly and uncomfortably stuck together for hours? What if I really liked him but he decided he really didn’t like me quite so much? Or even worse, what if he decided he really liked me just as I realized he wasn’t quite as marvelous as I’d first thought? Needless to say, we had a wonderful time, none of my fears were realized, and by the end of the day I already had a sneaking suspicion that before too long that particular street sign would become a very familiar sight.
And indeed, “Baldwin Road” has become home. I was delighted to see that sign when we came home from our honeymoon and it was truly home for the first time. I looked forward to seeing it after the long trip we took to California a few months after we were married. I looked forward to coming home to it after a few days camping in a tent. I looked forward to it at the end of a long work day or even a long shopping trip.
I remember seeing that sign when we came home from the hospital with our precious baby boy, and again with our precious baby girl. I remember seeing it when we came home from my brother-in-law’s funeral and again from my mother’s funeral. That sign represents a place of joys and sorrows, a place of life, a haven, a respite from the woes of the world. It’s not just where I live, it’s where I live. It’s where my marriage has grown and deepened, it’s where I watch my children grow, it’s where friendships have blossomed, it’s where I spend time with my family, it’s where I’ve become who I’ve become over the past few years. It’s my home.
Hello there, Baldwin Road. It’s good to be home.
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