Friday, February 18, 2011

Getting Lost on Memory Lane

Last week I returned to my hometown to attend my fathers funeral and catch up with my family that are scattered all over the US. It started the minute I flew over the New York City Skyline gazing out at the Long Island Sound. I had a story for everything that flew past my window. I haven't live in the Tri-State area for almost 8 years but it is still the place I call home. Before me and my husband packed up our 6 kids and headed west  we spent our last Sunday visiting every house we had ever lived in, in about 4 hours. We even visited the childhood homes of our Fathers in those few hours. Our roots go deep.

 As my shuttle headed up I-95 the familiar road signs pulled me back and before I knew it I was somewhere in the 60's. My first home town Larchmont came and went but in those moments I flashed back to the train station my father walked to every day for years, the Chinese laundry were he got his shirts cleaned and pressed, the apartment building where we trick or treated, the dentist that didn't believe in Novocain. We traded that suburb for a back country home in Greenwich just over the NY State line in 1968, I was 8 years old.

I grew up in Greenwich, I graduated from High School and its were I became an adult. After exiting the I-95  and driving down the narrow streets of Greenwich on my way to my sisters home I started to remember things I didn't even know I had forgotten. Every corner brought back more memories and I became lost in the past. The High School Football games, riding the ferry to Island Beach, Manero's greasy garlic bread, dancing in the park, that fried chicken on Greenwich Avenue, I was back somewhere in the 70's.

Just 45 minutes away is the town of Bethel that I called home for almost 20 years. I bought my first home and built my dream home there, had all 6 of my kids and put them all on the school bus for their first day of school in that town. The trip up to Bethel brought me so far down Memory Lane that after visiting with a friend who lived around the corner from the home I designed and built with my husband I slipped and found myself forgetting I lived 2300 miles away in Utah. I always laugh that after these 7.5 living years across the country I still dream from Connecticut, and when I close my eyes I'm back in my dream home on Falls Lane thinking of projects that need to be done.

After a week wandering through the corners of my mind it was time to return to my husband and children. Even though I have fond memories of growing up, and raising a family in these historical towns It was time to sleep in my own bed.

As the plane took off and the lights of Manhattan faded into the night I started the journey back. And after 4 hours and 2300 miles giant white mountains appeared under us and the straight lines of the grid street system of the Salt Lake Valley pulled me into the present.

Its fun to get lost and wander around old stomping grounds remembering were you came from. Its also fun to be found standing on the curb at an airport by your Husband and kids being greeted with hugs and kisses and a big Welcome Home.

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