Monday, June 18, 2012

You Can't Go Home Again?

I'm heading off tomorrow for a 19 day visit down memory lane . . . the hubs is staying home to work on "train world".  I'll be house and dog sitting for my brother and sister-in-law in my home town of Alexandria, VA.  I grew up there the first 17 years of my life and then lived there again for a year in my twenties . . . last visited in 2005.

About 20 years ago (which was almost 20 years since I had lived there) I attended the funeral of my childhood best friend's mother.  I drove from Cincinnati where we were living at the time with my (then) 2 year old daughter.  The trip took almost 13 hours as I recall . . . many stops with a 2 year old! 

As we got closer to Alexandria I decided to take what I thought would be a less hectic and more familiar way into town.  It was like something out of "Back To The Future" (that movie with Michael J. Fox).  One stretch would look somewhat familiar and then suddenly I didn't recognize a thing!  The mall across the street from my former apartment complex (from my twenties) had been renovated and was very futuristic looking with lots of neon!  By the time I got to the funeral home . . . with only minutes to spare . . . I was totally rattled!

I changed my daughter's clothes in the parking lot and in we went.  As we sat waiting for the memorial service to start I leaned down and told her that we were going to hear some pretty music.  Seconds later, in a not so "indoor voice", my daughter said "Where's the music"?  We spent the entire funeral out in the hallway where she burned off that pent up energy running up and down the hallway.

We attended the wake at the house my best friend lived in during our high school days which was around the corner from where I lived during that time.  I was staying overnight with my brother's girlfriend who lived on the street I used to live on during my elementary and junior high days.  I wanted to leave the wake before dark to make sure I could find my way (this was before GPS).  Well . . . it was dark before we left.  No problem . . . I thought.  I'll just go down the hill and hang a left at the Masonic Temple and go down a few blocks and hang a right and there you are . . . piece of cake!  Can't hang a left at the Masonic Temple anymore . . . there was a Metro station there.  No problem . . . I thought.  I'll just go down to the Reed Theater and turn left there . . . that will get me there.  No more Reed Theater (where I saw A Hard Days Night on my first date).  I did find my way . . . eventually . . . totally rattled once again!

Staying in a strange place after a very long day didn't sit too well with a 2 year old.  She started crying . . . it was too dark . . . it wasn't her bed . . . she wanted to go home.  That brought on my tears and I said I wanted to go home too, but it was too far.  We finally fell asleep . . . totally exhausted.

Speaking of the Masonic Temple . . . we used to ride there on our bikes (a mother forbidden destination) and ride down the steps . . .  yes, those terraced steps down the hill!  Guess we were rather daredevilish!
I hope I'll be able to post pictures of this trip using my brother's computer.  It should be interesting to visit the old neighborhoods and see all the changes . . . with the GPS plugged in . . . and without a 2 year old in tow!  I also plan to do some genealogy research while I'm there.  My father's family lived there for generations and built the family home in Old Town before it was "the" place to live.

Come along and spend some time down memory lane . . .


1 comment:

  1. Have fun, Bon! Love Old Town Alexandria. Post pictures of the dog too!!