I visited dad at my parents house yesterday, and then I visited mom at her acute care facility. On my drive to the house, I noticed a For Sale sign in the front yard of my Aunt Betty’s house. Aunt Betty passed away a few years ago. Seeing the sign made me sad because I have shared so many memories there. My Aunt Betty was quite an entertainer and always had family gatherings and parties. After I finished visiting dad, I saw a number of people standing the drive of Aunt Betty’s house. They were all potential buyers. Memories of the past suddenly seemed so heavy on me and I decided to do something that I have always put off ever since moving from the neighborhood some 32 years ago. I drove around the neighborhood.
It was so weird seeing houses again that I had always seen, and now most of them were kept up nicely but there were some that were not. It made me wonder why that is the case. Perhaps original owners were still living there and they are now too old to care for the lawn or house upkeep. Maybe different owners lived there now and simply didn’t care much about their house. Could even be that the house is rented out and the current tenants don’t at all care since they have a place to live and the house isn’t theirs. There were not many of these houses, fortunately but there were some.
To see so many expansive houses on large lots was interesting. Not mansions, but ranch-style homes that sat on large property. That land is valuable and builders don’t do that anymore. It was also very nice to see homes with expansive well maintained yards. The houses did not need to consume every bit of the property that it sat just to maximize square footage. I think people used to spend a lot more time at their houses outdoors. In the frontward, the backyard, playing on the grass, climbing trees and just being a family.
Things are certainly different now. There doesn’t seem to be the same quality of family life. Families are now driving ‘somewhere’ to play soccer, baseball, or some other activity that takes them away from their neighborhood. Community is lost. Where did it go?
I also drove past my old elementary school that I attended 5th and 6th grade. The school looked mostly the same, except it was completely fenced in as so many elementary schools are these days. Pity that this design change has become a necessity.
As I drove my large truck through a condominium complex I felt so huge. The complex never seemed as small as it is when I was a kid. Maybe it wouldn’t feel so huge if I was just driving a car, I don’t know. These were all neighborhoods where I spent some of my childhood and now here I was again seeing everything I had always remembered, something that I was a part of.
Was all so thought provoking for me going ‘back in time’. There are many memories from this place, this place in my life.