There's something about family.
After a 5-day trip covering several hundred miles to see family, I returned today to my family, my husband and kids. I'm the same person, but I've got these different lives and roles to play. For 5 days I left my role as mother and wife and re-entered my role as sister, daughter, cousin, neice, and granddaughter. In some ways that brings me back in touch with a different "me". While taking a short break from visiting my grandmother in a nursing home, I was able to walk a few blocks down to where she and Grandpa used to live. What fun to relive memories from my childhood. These are the kinds of memories that don't come to you when you're sitting at a computer screen at work or putting away dishes in your kitchen. These are the kinds of memories that can only happen when you are actually back at Grandma's House (even if it is only lurking around the outside).
Grandma's house looks smaller from the outside than I remembered it (even though subsequent owners put on an addition). Grandma's 4 o'clocks have been replaced by bushes and the once spotless and flawless driveway meticulously tended by Grandpa has cracks and decay. The clothelines in the back are gone; those are where Grandma would put out her sheets and underwear to dry on a nice day (the undies were always hidden on the inside lines by the sheets). Grandma and Grandpa once had a bicycle built for two and showed us kids how to ride it by demonstrating, just the two of them. I thought it was the funniest thing seeing these "old people" ride the bike together! Little did I know that roughly 35 years later Grandma would still be around at 98.5 years old! My walk took me past the municipal pool. While only about 6 blocks from Grandma and Grandpa's house, I know my sister and I would often convince Grandma that she should drive us. Once at the pool I would no doubt annoy her with constant Look-at-me's the way kids do. I was convinced she wanted nothing more to do than watch my every move in the pool!
Such memories can only come to one when prompted by the PLACE. I fear that I may never have reason to go back to that little town once Grandma is gone. I fear those memories will go, too, once the PLACE is gone from my life.
But then again, a conversation with my Dad may prove me wrong. While sitting at his cabin this morning, we somehow got on the subject of HIS father who has long since passed on. I was astonished by all Dad was able to recall about his own father's childhood and upbringing, interests and life. I urged him to write his father's life-story so that it doesn't get forgotten for good.
Perhaps Dad should begin a blog?