We have been visiting our hometown. Today, I decided to go to a neighboring town to browse some shops. Of course, the day I decide to go anywhere is the day that it is stormy.
I drove through town and started down the four-lanes, the closest thing there is around the immediate area to a highway. I was watching the clouds and the rain coming up the river valley. It is a wonderfully, familiar sight to see for me.
As with any visit to our hometown, memories, both good and bad, flood my mind. Each bend in the road brings a new thought to me, a new memory. This always leads to the next train of thought for me, which is: “I wonder what I would be and what I would have done if I never left home so many years ago?”
As if on cue after this thought, I saw a bolt of lightning and thunder came close by… just like those movies where the main character somehow finds themselves in an alternate reality of what if’s….. I half expected to somehow be transported into a life where I had never left Oil City….
But, no, instead I kept driving and parked the car by the park in Franklin, PA…. I smiled to myself as I fed the parking meter and went across the street to where the shops are.
Looking through several of the stores I remembered times when I had visited the downtown section with aunts and cousins. But, no longer are there Isaly’s (a wonderful place for ice cream and chipped/chopped ham), no Murphy’s (a five and dime store). Those days are long gone, nevertheless there is a lingering trace in my mind of the times when you dressed to go to town and you would see women in hats and gloves.
Yes, the past few weeks have brought forth many memories. I have seen people from elementary school, I have walked streets that I walked as a child, I have driven past the place where I had my hand held for the first time, I drove by the church where I married my hubby. Times change and people change, but somehow buildings will echo things to you and memories spring forth.
No, I really don’t know how my life would be if I had stayed in Oil City so many years ago, but, I know how rich and full my life is because I did leave. Oil City will always be a part of me, deep down, however I am now just a visitor here, someone who comes infrequently.
It is always good for me to come back home. The time here causes reflection, and that is a good thing. I think of my life and gratitude comes flooding in. I have been blessed in my life. I had a great start in a small town that was safe and secure. We grew up being able to explore and go in safety. I was then thrust into a life of adventure where I traveled, seeing sights that some only read about. I experienced foods and places I never dreamed of. I met people who have graced my life in so many ways.
Yes, on this rainy day in my hometown, I have traveled in my mind and have realized once more, that my life is good. Thanks for stopping by. Cathi(DAF)