While researching another article I came across some facts that I must have known on some subconscious level, but I’d never had them “in my face” at the same time before this morning. It makes me long for Home all the more.
In comparing Home with Here, let me define the two. “Home” is East Texas; specifically Lufkin in Angelina County. I lived on Allen Gin Road (aka FM2680) at the intersection with Kenner Road.
“Here” is Pasadena, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County. Where doesn’t really matter because this overly crowded place is pretty much the same as that one. Twenty steps Here gets you on someone else’s property. Twenty steps back Home gets you halfway to the mailbox.
I’m afraid I may be giving away the ending with these little hints that only someone who doesn’t know the meaning of the word can call subtle. But please, read on. There will be facts. I promise.
As stated earlier, I am from East Texas, an area comprising some 41 of Texas’s 254 counties. I can also narrow it down and state that I’m from the Piney Woods of East Texas; a region of roughly 25 or so counties. Refining further still, Angelina is one of 12 counties that make up Deep East Texas.
According to the Deep East Texas Council of Governments, there are 368,675 people living in the 9,790 square miles of Deep East Texas. By comparison, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 5,615,727 people living in the 9,774 square miles of the state of Maryland.
Obviously I knew there were more people in Maryland than in my little neck of the woods, but I didn’t realize that my little neck of the woods was larger than the state of Maryland (even if only a little).
Home wins. Missing Home.