it had been five months since my parents dropped me off at the wichita airport to start a new life in maine. in any normal circumstance, five months isn't that long of a time, but for someone who moved into a new apartment in a new city, started a new job and had to make new friends, it felt like a lifetime ago. they were a sight for sore eyes.
similar to when they visited me in college, i couldn't wait to show them every new thing i had discovered, luckily for them, unlike college, maine doesn't smell like a dorm room. the eleven days they were here were a mix of showing them the city i had come to know and wanting them to discover for themselves what a wonderful city portland is. for totally selfish reasons, i wanted them to "like" the city i was living in to help ease my guilt for moving so far away. then, somewhere between showing them my favorite neighborhood bar and the "land and sea" tour they took themselves, something i didn't plan happened. we discovered new parts of the city together, tiny little gems neither of us had seen, several of which have become some of my favorite spots in the city.
the crazy thing is, heading back to these spots a month after they left, i now have memories of them there. this new place i moved to doesn't seem as foreign anymore now that i memories of my parents here. i can envision my mom looking for sea glass on willard beach and i can picture my dad enjoying the patio of the portland lobster company.
memories help make a new and strange place feel like home, and memories with family are some of the best to accumulate. my parents trip up to visit me, in a weird way, made this city feel more like home.
they call maine "vacationland" but my parents trip made it feel a little more like [home]land.