Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tagalong

We packed into the car as we did many weekends. I was eight when it all started. The Sunday drive to visit relatives had changed. The drive were a bit longer. The trips took us across the border.

Most kids who were raised in the Church of the Brethren had siblings who attended Manchester College in North Manchester, Indiana, as did my sisters. The college became a big part of my childhood, since my sisters were ten and seven years older the me. I went from little girl to teenager on that campus and when my sisters brought college friends home. I was cursed with motion sickness. Every trip across that border from Ohio to Indiana was dreaded. I knew that once I made it through the first part of the trip, I had the return still to come. I knew that when we got to the college, I would follow everyone around having no playmates to keep me company. It was not an easy time for a little girl. In fact, I think I was so sick of college by the time I graduated feeling that I'd already had five years of campus life.

After my sisters married, they stayed in Indiana. Once more the trips to Indiana continued. At times I wasn't sure which state was really mine. Now, in just a little less than four weeks, I am heading back to Indiana. These trips back to see my sister are indeed some of the best times. I will spend time with her in Angola then head to Ohio. My two growing up states share my heart. Sometimes people who shop in our store mention that they are from Indiana. Of course, my ears immediately perk up, and  I explain that I'm sort of a Hoosier. Their response leads me to believe that if you weren't born a Hoosier you can't be a Hoosier. I believe that I have squatters rights. Indiana owns a piece of me, and that's a fact.

I noticed online that Manchester College is now Manchester University. And, North Manchester has grown a bit since way back when. I have a feeling that their college song "By the Kenopokomoko" has changed. Still I can sing every word by heart. There is little of my childhood that I remember that did not trail my sisters. I grew up as the tagalong. Now I pack my bag hop onto a plane that will take me to my sister in Indiana. Indiana is still hugging Ohio just as I will hug them both on my return in June. It's hard to get rid of a tagalong, you know.

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