Monday, June 23, 2008

Going Home and Passing Down Memories

I’ve been thinking about my old hometown lately, as I plan for our upcoming visit.

I grew up in a town of about 10,000. It was so small that we did not even have a McDonalds restaurant (a big thing to kids). Eventually we got a Dairy Queen – that was a big deal.

Pretty much any place in town – you could walk to.

All 4 schools I attended growing up – were within very close walking distance…the high school was literally at the end of my street.

I miss the familiarity of my home town. It was nothing special when I lived there though. It had few attractions, save for the large mental hospital.

After being gone for about 18 yrs (except for visiting) - the town has taken on special meaning. Not only because of the family that is still there (or perhaps in spite of that... just kidding mom & dad!), but because that is where all the memories are.

When I go back, I enjoy just walking around town, remembering all the old places, and the memories of it all... the park with a playground that has not been updated in probably 20 years and includes the “dangerous” spinning merry-go-round, rickety metal slides and the infamous metal rocking horse that can hold 5 children (or adults!). The unusual architecture of the old Ukrainian Orthodox Catholic church that we'd walk past daily on our way to the junior high school. The houses my childhood friends lived in. So many ordinary places that have become extra-ordinary.

One of the blessings of having children is that we are able to pass down our memories to them. I want my children to see the schools I went to. I want my kids to remember the park where I played. I want them to see the house I lived in until I was 8 (and then when we moved down the street, my grandma lived there for the next 30 or so years). I want them to see the huge pine tree that was in her backyard - because I remember when it was planted and have pictures of us girls standing around it...and now it is so big our entire extended family could probably all ring around it. I want the kids to have Barney Gargles' fish n' chips, I want them to see the store I worked in. I want to point out the building that once housed the bakery we'd go to every Saturday to spend our allowance. Maybe by my kids seeing it all - I can experience it again.


Anonymous said...

Memories are so important ! I'm glad that you are going to share some with your kids when you travel to CANADA.Have a nice time with your family ! Look forward to your exploits when you return to the USA !

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