We went "home" last weekend. I haven't been there for a year. I seemed like a good time to make my first visit to some where else than the doctor's office. Usually, to celebrate my birthday we take a trip to my folks. It was a little later this year since my dad was gone to some meetings on the more logical weekend.
It is funny that the place where you spend the first 18 years of your life is still "home" no matter how many years you spend somewhere else. Actually, I lived in that house 13 years, but I wonder if it is the same for people who move often. Is coming "home" just where your parents are? I have a lot of memories stored in that old house and that neighborhood. We walked out on the nice day that Saturday was, and we went by familiar places that aren't quite the same I remember. The rock lined "pond" in a neighbor's front yard that used to hold gold fish and is now a flower garden. The last north/south road before the river that is paved now, but way back when it was gravel, there was a pig that lived just around the bend. What used to be the "alley" just west of our house that was lined with poplars, across which we grew potatoes one year at the neighbors. There are little apartments there now. And it's paved. Farther afield, while driving, we drove past the lot where our apartment house stood, that three story large house where we lived on the first floor a few years before I was five. We would race to the large front window, jump on the couch that was under it to watch trains go by. It burned when I was a senior, and we sold the lot. There is a steel building there now. I still remember the large trees that were there along the road. It is hard to remember exactly which block the curving gravel road used to be that would take us right back to my folk's house. It is paved now, the tangle of bushes and trees along it are gone, houses are built where before there was just a mess of woody area. It looks so much more civilized, but it isn't like I remember. It's town now, not the edge of town running into untamed land down to the river. Then we went past what used to be the trailer court which was my first home. It is just an empty place now. Nothing there but grass.
In some ways, "you can't go home again". Certainly, I can't go back to what it used to be, but I can go back to the memories and that little town will always be my "home town".