Recurring dreams can feel like nightmares. I have found when I feel like I've not accomplished a goal or didn't do my best in an area of my life, I tend to have recurring dreams about doing that certain thing over again. I'm sure it's my subconscious way of trying to fix what I've done wrong.
I can't shake Eugene. I dream about it frequently especially our house. I loved that house. Zoe learned to walk there. We brought Levi home from the hospital there. We grew closer together there. Most of our family were thousands of miles away so we clung to each other. We started new traditions. We truly studied the Bible together. Sure, there were struggles just like all families have, but we grew a deeper understanding of each other there.
Our family has outgrown that house now for sure, but it was our home. I've never missed a house like this before and we've lived in many, many homes. It was quaint like a cottage in the midst of a strange area. Although, the strangeness of Eugene is what makes it magical. I can't remember how many times I heard strangers carrying on conversations in the park or in a store about how Eugene is a magical place. I laughed then but now I understand that it truly is. For a conservative southerner, Eugene could seem like a nightmare. Liberal and hippy are definitely the opposite of small town Alabama. I never thought I would grow to love it so. It taught me how to truly just look at people as people. No labels.
When we lived in Eugene sometimes I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb with my southern ways, and of course my accent. Now that we live in Alabama again I feel as though I have Eugene in my blood, and maybe I stick out like a sore thumb again. Eugene is a part of me. It isn't a perfect place by any means. It was actually a little scary to a small town southern girl, but it was also pretty perfect.
I find myself being homesick for a place that isn't really my home. It brings me to tears at times. We love our home in Alabama, but we miss our home in Eugene. If I could have both, I would. If we could go visit tomorrow, we would. Eugene gave us lacrosse, love for the outdoors, mountain snow, tie dye, and understanding. The best thing that it gave us was our family. We can't go back and change or relive the past. We will never have those years again, but at least we have the memories.