Absence makes the heart grow fonder – probably one of the most clichéd phrases out there, but like most clichés, it is extremely true. This summer I’ve spent almost as much time out of state as I have at home, and even though I loved all of the exciting trips I took, they have also shed light on a scary truth: now that I’ve just moved to Washington D.C. (on Friday!) I’m really, really going to miss Milwaukee.
The first trip I took was to Stone Harbor, NJ. My grandparents have a house that’s right off the beach, so it was an ideal way to spend some time with the family before I left for everything else.
I then spent two weeks down in Kentucky, one week on a mission trip through the Appalachia Service Project (I went last year, too), and one week in the same place as a “staffer-in-training” because I’m planning on applying for a job there for next summer. Although I had never thought of myself as a real “Northerner” before, after spending that second week with almost only Southerners I realized how they picture Wisconsin just like Canada. Then of course there was that awkward moment when I asked where the “bubbler” was and no one understood.
After Kentucky I had a big switch from being considered a Northerner to going to the actual North, in actual Canada. For a week, my friends and I went canoeing in the Boundary Waters on the boarder of northern Minnesota. It surprised me how much colder it was up there than here in Milwaukee, and I also was not expecting the towns that we went through to be so picturesquely “north woods.” I mean, pretty much every building was made out of logs, and there were moose pictures everywhere. It was the perfect place to get away, but I’m not so sure if I would want to live up there. No offense to Minnesota or anything, but those towns are in the middle of nowhere.
Thus I have concluded that Wauwatosa is, as we all expected, the perfect place to live. The whole Milwaukee area has the best of both worlds: it’s got that easy-going and friendly Midwestern attitude, but also a respectably big city. The city is full of things to do, yet you could go about half an hour in any direction and be out in farmland. And regardless of your political ideology, now no one can deny that Milwaukee residents have the most awesome mayor a city could ask for.
Now I’m gone again and am loving it so far, but I’m a bit nostalgic because I know I won’t be back home until Thanksgiving at least. While I am sad to leave Wauwatosa especially after being gone so much, I’m glad that I had all of the experiences outside of the city so I had a chance to come back and really appreciate what I missed before I left again for such a long time. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if I end up back in the Milwaukee area for good once I’ve graduated, but until then I’ll just have to be that crazy Wisconsin fanatic on campus. I think now is probably the perfect time to invest in a good pair of green and gold zooba pants.
Since I won’t be in Wauwatosa anymore, I feel that this should be my last blog for WauwatosaNow. I’ve had a lot of fun writing these blogs (even though they’ve been so scarce lately – sorry, I’ve been busy!) and I’ve learned a lot, too. I want to thank the people who’ve given me the chance to write and of course, everyone who’s taken the time to read what I have to say! Before this gets to be too much of an Emmy speech, I want to say goodbye to Wauwatosa. Thanks for the great home you’ve been and I can’t wait to see you again!