26 December 2009
Can You Ever Really Go Home Again?
My emotional response to that is I think not. The reality is that it really depends on home. My neighborhood in the first city I lived in after college, which I also call home, is virtually unchanged. The community I grew up in however is nearly unrecognizable and seems to become more so with each return visit. First it was the fast food chains on the state highway. Not as shocking since that started when I was still in high school so it appeared more gradual. The next transformation was the conversion of farmland to subdivisions. More homes brought more people brought more kids and the new school campus changed the look of the community even more. Last year (it may have been longer) they redid the entrance and exit ramps off the expressway and let’s just say, they’re frightening and I’m glad I don’t have to drive them. I’m told that they drive better than the old ones, but I’ve never seen anything remotely like it. In last few months, they have added both a Wal-Mart and a Meijer; Target came a few years ago. While they have undoubtedly brought with them a much-needed infusion of commerce, I still find it a little disheartening to not recognize my own hometown – the ice rink, the truck stop where my grandmother worked when my dad was a kid, and a family farm. My city friends always tell me it’s so nice that I can go home as they’ve watched their hometown change around them. What I’ve never figured out how to explain is how much less their hometown has changed than mine. I guess it really is just all about your perspective.