Thursday, December 6, 2012

Favorite things 4: My hometown

The other night on iTunes, they had a selection of 80's songs for only 69 cents. I played each one - Alphaville Forever Young, Eurythmics Sweet Dreams, Bette Midler Wind Beneath my Wings. As I played each one Shane and I would start to sing. And I would start to feel what that song meant to me when it played. For good or bad, I felt things that I couldn't explain or share, but just feel and remember. 

In sort of the same vein, I could never, ever live in my hometown. Like certain songs that I will always avoid when they come on the radio, living there wouldn't work. Just imagining the people who I would run into at the grocery store or see while taking the kids to the dentist makes me cringe. But I do enjoy visiting there, like I did today. I spent a very enjoyable day with my mom and Amy setting up and decorating my mom's tree. I love those ladies so much.

After we decorated, I set off on a run. The past two times I've run in my hometown I took the same path which led me towards the canyon, over to my high school, past my elementary and then home. But I recently saw a picture of my grandma's house which is also in my hometown. One of my cousins bought it years ago and raised her two sons there. I don't think I have been there in almost 20 years. So I decided today that I wanted to run the direction that would take me past grandma's house.

I was not disappointed in my route. I am always amazed at how much smaller places are now than they used to be. In less than a mile, I ran through 20 years of memories - the corner that used to have a small store on it that we called The Little Store where we would buy candy and do ceramics, the street where the friend I had in 7th grade lived, the houses where my oldest sister lived the first few years of her married life, the gas station that I drove to the very first time I drove in my life - all in .88 of a mile. Bizarre!

At a little over 2.5 miles, I spent a couple of moments at my grandma's house, looking at the giant trees and the carport that look exactly how I remember them. I pictured my grandma raising her three sons there, I pictured my dad living there, I pictured all of my cousins and sisters gathered in the living room for Christmas Day. When I left, a few blocks more took me past the house where my best friend from kindergarten lived (it's all boarded up now - so sad! It was the house that was shown in Touched By an Angel back when it was on.) I ran past the funeral home where my dad's viewing was held, and my old orthodontist's office, and the space where my family lived while our house was being built (the house has been torn down now.) All that history in a mere 4 miles.

I like not living there. Similar to how I want some songs to always remind me of him, or of her, or of that one special/terrible/life changing experience, I want those places to always remind me of my  former life rather than my current one. I don't want life to water down the feelings. I want it always and forever to be home.