October 8, 2012


Beth and I were driving back home after our Saturday date night and, in doing so, we drove right past my parents' street.

Beth: Is it weird driving past your old house all the time?
Me: No. Not at all. It's kind of nice.

We live not too far from where my parents and I moved in back in 1989, behind my old high school, and around many of my old haunts. I'm sure some folks would think it's a drag. After all, don't we spend most of our formative years talking smack about where we live and, like some high-minded, restless character in a Broadway musical, constantly express the desire to shake off the shackles of this tiny town?

Truth is, I don't live in a tiny town but it sure feels like it sometimes. There's an old part of town with old brick buildings. There's a high school homecoming parade each year. You get to know the town cops even if you're not a habitual speeder. Anyone with kids runs into each other constantly - we're all in the same schools and sports leagues, and community associations. It's an oasis of small town life in the midst of the big, bad city. And I love it.

We were in the grocery store yesterday, getting stuff for me to make some homemade spaghetti sauce. Standing in line Beth reminded me that I'd totally forgotten the basil. So I sprinted to the produce section, seeing my dad in line, waving, along the way. After we'd all paid, we spent a few minutes catching up then my dad went on his way, returning to my old house, while we headed to our new(ish) one, confident that we'd run into each other again soon. That's pretty cool.

All this makes me wish that I had Flashback Vision. You know, the ability to look around - the local strip mall, the elementary school you went to, the neighborhood you used to live in - and see it exactly as it was at any point in time. I'm sure there's some augmented reality, crowdsourced, curated app that could be made by collecting people's old photos.

But I don't know how to do that. If you're up to it, you can have my idea. For now, I'm just happy being close to my family, to those old haunts.

Posted by Chris at October 8, 2012 8:39 AM

Happy-posts are almost as good as audioblog posts...

Posted by: alektra at October 8, 2012 9:41 AM

We live in the town I grew up in (moved away for 7 or so years), and live in the house I grew up in. It's a town of 42,000 or so, well maintained, reasonable taxes, same mayor for 30 years or so, people work together. It's between two major highways and 1/2 hour in either direction from 2 major cities in the state. My son went to the same high school that I went to, that my parents went to. There's something comforting to live in the same town, to know it's history (1670!), to drive by the houses your family lived in in the 1920s, to talk to people on the phone who call our business and discover they knew my father, or to drive down the street with my husband and have him wave to the person in every 3rd car because he know them from his business or life in general.
Every teenager you talk to will say "ugh I can't wait to move out of Wallingford" but mark my words - they'll be back!

Posted by: NancyB at October 9, 2012 9:57 AM