Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Land That Time Forgot

Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.

  --Matsuo Basho--

I often look back on those childhood days, now long gone and wonder where the time has gone.  And, as I find myself growing older, I find myself  doing this more often, sitting alone at times,   contemplating, and looking back. It's not that I desire to  re-do my childhood.  For the most part, aside from those times spent with my grandparents which were wonderful times of play and discovery, my childhood, for the most part, is something I would much rather forget...

...but then, there is that other part of me that remembers  those special Halloween nights,  going from door-to-door...the anxiety of waiting for Santa to arrive.  Bicycle riding from morning til night...running barefoot through the grass...snowball fights, snow forts...spinning around in a rainfall.  Sleeping outdoors in a tent in my backyard and watching the stars and the moon.   I remember when I would catch tadpoles and lightning bugs and play hide and seek in the bushes and wooded area surrounding our house.  Yes, while the children at school may have bullied me, times were not always bad.  
And when I mention these thoughts to hubby, he has graciously offered to drive me there, to my parents' first home, but I have always refused.  I have my memories, and I want to remember the place it as it was, not some unrecognizable place with no home to go back to...so, you can imagine my surprise when...

...yesterday, through the satellite imagery of Google maps, I discovered that I not only could  see my old neighborhood , but I was also able to take a step back in time. Amazingly, although nearly 60 years have passed since we first moved there, the neighborhood is still much the same.  My house still sits right where I it always was, and aside from a few improvements and minus the hedge, it was still very much the house I grew up in.  In fact, not very much had changed.   

To know after absence the familiar street and road and village and house is to know again the satisfaction home.
--Hal Borland--

In the 1950's, when we first moved in, the neighborhood was new. The cookie cutter houses had just been built, and aside from color, all looked mostly the same. There was no grass; my parents planted it themselves along with the trees that now stand taller than the house.  The streets themselves had not changed and I was able to trace the route I took on my bicycle on my daily go-rounds.  The wooded area next to me house has not been destroyed, and if anything, it stands more beautiful than I remembered.  A car sits in the same driveway where my mom's yellow Edsel once sat.  The brook remains and continues to run under the streets in the concrete tunnels on which my initials may still remain. Would you believe that even the Dairy Queen sits in the same spot?  It is almost as if I have stumbled into the land the time forgot.

Home is a word that carries all kinds of means for us.  For most of us it usually means love, security, and comfort.  Yes, that was my home, and it is nice to see it as it was and remember, but today it belongs to someone else who, maybe one day,  will look back with fond memories.  Because, the truth is, I have a new home now, and as much as I may think of that little house of 60 years ago as my home, I can never go back. It belongs to a place and time that lives within that special place within my heart.  

Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.

--John Ed Pearce--


  1. Some memories are so special and it is good to look on them from time to time. The child we were is still inside us, deep somewhere. It's good to play with that child once in a while. Glad you weren't disappointed by the satellite glimpse of the old homestead.

  2. I've often thought I'd love to go back to my childhood homes...and after thinking about it for a while know it would just upset me. However, I'd love my children to see where and how my family lived. The older I get the more important that becomes to me, which is why I guess I've started this geneology campaign. I've been wanting to do it for years and now is the time.

    I may have to try what you did on Google Mary...
    I loved your parting quote!
    Blessings and Peace,

  3. Hello Mary......Ahhhhh memories of our childhood homes. They are truly special no matter if they were sometimes AWFUL!! I, too, find myself remembering only the good things. In fact, I have been able to visit one of my childhood homes each time we visit my wonderful Aunt Ruthie. Nothing much has changed in mine either....and that is perhaps a good thing. It is somehow comforting to know that some things just seem to stay as they always were.

    Hugs dear friend,


  4. OMGosh! I've done the same thing and then went on to find places I owned in CA.
    On Zillow I found out that those same houses are worth much,much more than I paid when they were NEW. $6,900 for the first home in 1956 with the first hubby and 10,000 for the second with the second hubby in 1960.
    We are talking NOW over 200 and 300 K for those same homes. OUCH!!!!
    Some landscaping differences, but that is the most you can see.
    I've Googled people's homes such as yours....which reminds me, I haven't done that yet! :0)Keep the lights burning..I'll be right there. LOL

  5. WOW!!! Some lovely architecture on that building.
    I knocked, but no one was home. ;0)
    The rents are ATROCIOUS... Holy Hannah !!!