One of the hazards of having a 2TB hard drive is the immediate accessibility of old photos. There is something about fall that causes me to review. With 9 years of photos on my hard drive, this can be quite a journey.
Along with review comes a sense of nostalgia. As much as I appreciate my new life in Chattanooga, there are things I miss about my old life in Columbus, Ohio.
I try not to think about how much I miss my friends. Although I have made a dozen or so friends in Chattanooga now and I would miss them, too, I don’t find that friends are replaceable or interchangeable. Each is a unique relationship and each relationship is something I value.
I don’t need old photos to remind me how much I miss my friends. What the photos do remind me of is there are other aspects of my old life that I miss as well. Being within an easy 1/2 day’s drive of family is a big one. Going from a 3 hour drive to a 7 and 10 hour drive is a big difference in how frequently we see family.
But there are small things I miss as well. For example, I miss my gallery wall from our former living room. Given that we somehow lost the prints on that wall in one of the two moves after selling the house, I miss the art as much as the wall to display it on. It was one of those little pleasures I enjoyed everyday.
I also miss playing in the snow. Although, I guess I would have missed that had we still been in Columbus this past winter given it was unusually warm.
Perhaps a bigger gap for me is the feeling of being part of the community. Although I’ve found volunteer gigs I enjoy here in Chattanooga, it’s a little less immediate than being part of a neighborhood group that invests time and energy in improving the street we live on.
Along with changes that came from changing states, I also miss some of the things we left behind when we sold our house. Like the raccoons on our deck that would eat peanuts left out for the birds. Or being able to look out the windows and be eye-to-eye with birds ranging from Red-shouldered Hawks to Scarlet Tanagers to even occasional warblers.
I guess I am really missing living in a wooded ravine that not only brought the birds up close to our windows, but also allowed for a woodland garden, intense fall colors along our street, and a hummingbird nest above the deck in the summer time.
But even as I miss these things, I am also relieved. After all, as much as I enjoyed life in the ravine and life in the house and community there, giving up those things has created an uncertain future that brings with it a sense of endless possibility.