Unfamiliarly familiar

Although I had planned this post for a few days, the prep for my J-Term course took more grief than I thought! And two of the songs that I heard in the last few days just exacerbated the theme. Sometimes, it pays to wait! 🙂

I heard a song this morning that was particularly popular around March, and it reminded me of a NON-pop song that I heard yesterday on Spotify.

In a Facebook post this morning, I cryptically said, “Once I was 7 years old… stuck by this river.”

Compare the two songs that I’m talking about, particularly their beginnings. Interestingly enough, they somewhat relate to this post! YAY!

When thinking about the song “By This River,” it, plus the theme of “Unfamiliarly Familiar,” reminded me of when my siblings and I took a week’s “vacation” to Fort Dodge while our parents went on RAGBRAI in the summer of 1997.

That trip was not particularly fun for me, because I was suffering a cold or allergies for one. For two, being away from my parents for that long was tough on me, and for three, I don’t think I got along that well with the family-friends that were hosting us. (In retrospect, I think I was missing the opportunity to play video games, as I was likely addicted to them when I was in my youth.)

The song “By This River” reminded me that there was a creek (Lizard Creek, in fact!) that ran in the back of their huge back yard. Not quite a river, but nevertheless, I can mention the link.

After that trip, when we got back to Lincoln, though I knew our house there, it seemed to me that there was an aura of unfamiliarity, or that I was rediscovering the house for the first time! It is hard for me to describe the feeling, but it reincorporated itself later in my life (and also earlier).

Let’s look at the earlier time, and it might have been when I was seven years old as a link to the new song. On a family trip to Nebraska, we were there for quite a while. When we got back to our house in Fort Dodge, the house had that same aura that I felt in 1997. The shadow that the ceiling lamp/fan cast on the wall behind it gave a mystique, and maybe something that I have not previously noticed… or cared about!


On Monday, I returned to Kenosha after a two-week vacation. Though that is not really a long time, I felt the aura of unfamiliarity as I stepped into my apartment after return from the vacation. Thankfully, the air wore off quickly.

And strangely enough, I don’t think I got that air at any return time to my graduate school apartment. Maybe I was too inured to it…


Spring Semester: 26 days

Road Trip: 70 days

Israel: 148 days

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