Derek’s been talking a lot lately about the North Carolina mountains. Missing the smellsll and music and way. I come from the North, and us northern peoples don’t have such a strong sense of place. I mean, Detroit–you learn how to drive a car at 15 and you’re off on your basic permit at 15 years old, on the highway with big pumped-up Chevy trucks that have bumper stickers with Calvin (of Calvin&Hobbes) peeing on Ford… it’s about truck loyalty, and driving really fast in the slow lane. But being abroad, as Derek says, makes you more connected with a sense of home, and my childhood has certainly become more acute since being here…I am not so much from the drum of Detroit as much as I remember the endless cycle of activities around water–skiing, tubing, skating… always water around you and in you, and the autumns are the most beautiful. Summer hangs until it just can’t take it anymore and then everything drops into the golden tangerine hue of midwestern pumpkin festivals and hot apple cider.