When you leave your hometown, it is rare to have an extended visit, unless you move back home. I left my hometown the day after I married. I was nineteen when I left this city.
For years I thought I would move back here. I dreamed about it and mentally planned it. I just thought it would be where I ended up. Last summer when we came home for my class reunion, I realized it was no longer my home. It was the city where I was born and raised. It will always have a hold of my heart and it will tug at my heart like no other place can. But, it will never again be my hometown.
That said, hubby and I are here for an extended visit. It is a working vacation for hubby as he and his brothers do some things his parents wanted done after they passed away. For me, it is a time to be here.
Hubby was raised in the country, I was a city girl. Hubby is spending several hours at his parent’s homestead while I am at our friend’s home in the city.
As I look out our friend’s front window, I see the spot where I stood with my first summer love 45 years ago. We stood along the curb, a few feet away from the fire hydrant (which is across the street), eating potato chips and watching a soap box derby. The soap box derby is still held on this street.
The weekend we arrived in town, we helped our friends with the Relay for Life, which they coordinated for the city. Hubby helped with computer stuff and I walked. I walked in memory of those family and friends who have lost their battle with cancer and I walked in honor of those who are still fighting the good fight. I walked on the track at the high school I graduated from. I walked the track where I once ran for the track team, earning my letter. It was a fun evening, I remembered running in the early spring, snow spitting at my face. I remembered counting my steps as I ran hurdles and remembered where I gave up running the hurdles after crashing through several gates.
I walked past the bleachers where hubby, I and the friends we are staying with, sat for the football games, cheering like crazy for a team that never won.
Each place we drive past, or walk by rings out memories of my childhood. This visit I have actually had time to show hubby places where my Dad would want to picnic. I have shown him paths and staircases that I walked long before he met me.
The smells of the flowers and the trees and the air are familiar to me. They draw me back to times that have laid dormant in my memory. I know once we return home I will cherish the memories of this visit. I think we sometimes need to return to our roots to discover how far we have come. We need to see our beginnings to see what we have learned and how we have grown.
This town was once a thriving town. It is my hope that someday, this town, will remember its beginnings and be renewed also.
Thanks for stopping by today, DAF