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Old 08-16-2013, 05:58 AM
 
1,480 posts, read 2,310,891 times
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Now that I am retired I have lots of time to think and travel. One of the things I am thinking a lot about is the so called "good old days." Simpler times when my brother and parents were alive and live was easier. Now that most of the people who were once close to me are gone I have done lots of traveling to places from my past to try to connect with the good old days.

How about you, do you travel to places you used to live or places you use to enjoy, now that you are retired? If so, does it make you happy or sad? Does it make you philosophical about your life and what you experienced?

Would you make a special trip to a place that you used to live just to drive or walk around and try to relive the good old days? Tell us your stories in nostalgia!
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:17 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,928 posts, read 18,947,529 times
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I got an email yesterday from a friend who wants to go to her 50th college reunion--it's in Michigan and she lives in MA--but she specifically said she wants to see the college she went to, the house they lived in and where she lived when her son was a baby, the school she first taught in. That hit home because--

I have been thinking of going back to my town in MA and walking around, maybe with my dog. Maybe retrace the walk I used to take to school everyday. I have an urge to visit the park that my parents used to take us on Sundays after church to feed the ducks and in winter for skating.

It will all be different, for my friend and for myself. For her, she will see some of her classmates but everything else will be different. For me, the town still looks mostly the same, I know, but there won't be even one person I will know. I think it might be sort of like being in a movie. I'll be viewing the movie set but the characters will be gone.

I finally feel grown up enough to go back. Fifteen years ago I went back and it just plain hurt. To see strangers coming and going, oblivious to me and to anything that had happened before. It was like a play in which you are invisible. "Our Town." They were having a road race on the town green and the name of it was the name of our class president. I had to ask one of the young parents why the race had that name and he said, "Oh he died so suddenly, didn't he?" whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa????

Because of the festivities on the green, my old junior high was open that day so that people could use the rest rooms. I waited in line on the front steps where we all used to stand talking before and after school. Inside, the building smelled the same: some things never change. Everybody was chattering but I looked to the left and there was the office, devoid of students and startlingly devoid of Mrs. S. and Mr. W.-- secretary and principal, as if in a strange dream.

But no one else knew. I even said out loud, "Oh, I went to school here"--hoping maybe someone in the crowd would respond with..."My mom went to school here" or "my older brother went to school here." Or something. But I was still invisible. For a split second I wanted to run down the hall to see if the classrooms were still there and maybe one of the teachers....but that was a crazy thought. The school is only used for offices now, the teachers are a distant memory, known only to a few.

But this time when I go back I won't be shocked. I've grown up since that last time and I don't expect it to be the same and I don't expect to see ghosts of people I once knew. I'll take my dog, good, supportive friend that he is, and we'll walk the hill together, past the woods, past the town library, the church, the magnificent old homes with little signs on them attesting that they were built in 1745 or 1802--all physically the same as they were then, but I'll know that they really truly are not the same to me. I'll be a person with a dog and that's all. I know that now.
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Hudson Vally/Suncoast
129 posts, read 202,151 times
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My MIL still lives in the town where my DH grew up and close to the town where I grew up. We moved away 29 years ago. We go back every year and every once in a while get to see some old haunts when we aren't busy with family get togethers.

Many of the country roads are now four lane to accommodate the expansion of the area. Huge mall and strip malls are where the fields used to be. An old factory complex was torn down and a river walk park is in it's place. I used to ride my bike to summer recreation at school. It was two miles on the backroads and through mostly corn fields. It's now lined with housing additions, although there's still a few fields left. It's like the area we moved to here: more people, traffic and houses where fields used to be.

The log cabin that people used only in the summer out in the boondocks is still there though. We used to ice skate on their pond in the winter. We would lay on the ice and could hear the it cracking from one end to the other and luckily never broke through the ice.

Some of the schools we went to have been razed and replaced with bigger schools. Or as in the case of our high school, the original building is still there but hidden amidst all the huge additions. It looks like a college campus now.

Oh, and the nudist colony where we used to park and make out in the cold weather is no longer there.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,020,878 times
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I have no interest to revisit the past because I write about it all the time. The past sits on my shoulder every day. To go back to former places unnerves me, like what I wrote about earlier today in the "5 years ago" thread. The past is not real, though we cling to it. It is gone.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:52 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,263,408 times
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There are several places I refuse to return to - b/c I have beautiful childhood memories of those particular places - and I don't want to have the visual remembrances in my head affected by how things have changed.

The place I was happiest as a child - I have studiously avoided since age 18. I did look at an aerial Google map of my former neighborhood several years ago and that only reinforced that it would be an awful idea to return. Better to keep it all in my head the way it was without knowing what it became.

As for other places, I have regularly returned to see friends/relatives, so there really isn't any other area/people I haven't been in contact with over my lifetime.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
6,138 posts, read 9,116,800 times
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Ugh. About 3 years ago I took my adult kids back to the house they were born into, in Lakewood CO. It was our first house, we paid $40,000 for it in 1970 and it was a little white ranch with a huge back yard. Well, let me tell you I was shocked to see how run down the area had become. All the shrubs were overgrown, they had painted the house brown, had 2 junk cars in the drive, and a huge shed practically in the front lawn. I had planted a Maple tree in front and it dwarfed the house cause it was so big. We drove away quickly. Never again. Times change and so must we.
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
72,172 posts, read 83,851,483 times
Reputation: 41929
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
I got an email yesterday from a friend who wants to go to her 50th college reunion--it's in Michigan and she lives in MA--but she specifically said she wants to see the college she went to, the house they lived in and where she lived when her son was a baby, the school she first taught in. That hit home because--

I have been thinking of going back to my town in MA and walking around, maybe with my dog. Maybe retrace the walk I used to take to school everyday. I have an urge to visit the park that my parents used to take us on Sundays after church to feed the ducks and in winter for skating.

It will all be different, for my friend and for myself. For her, she will see some of her classmates but everything else will be different. For me, the town still looks mostly the same, I know, but there won't be even one person I will know. I think it might be sort of like being in a movie. I'll be viewing the movie set but the characters will be gone.

I finally feel grown up enough to go back. Fifteen years ago I went back and it just plain hurt. To see strangers coming and going, oblivious to me and to anything that had happened before. It was like a play in which you are invisible. "Our Town." They were having a road race on the town green and the name of it was the name of our class president. I had to ask one of the young parents why the race had that name and he said, "Oh he died so suddenly, didn't he?" whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa????

Because of the festivities on the green, my old junior high was open that day so that people could use the rest rooms. I waited in line on the front steps where we all used to stand talking before and after school. Inside, the building smelled the same: some things never change. Everybody was chattering but I looked to the left and there was the office, devoid of students and startlingly devoid of Mrs. S. and Mr. W.-- secretary and principal, as if in a strange dream.

But no one else knew. I even said out loud, "Oh, I went to school here"--hoping maybe someone in the crowd would respond with..."My mom went to school here" or "my older brother went to school here." Or something. But I was still invisible. For a split second I wanted to run down the hall to see if the classrooms were still there and maybe one of the teachers....but that was a crazy thought. The school is only used for offices now, the teachers are a distant memory, known only to a few.

But this time when I go back I won't be shocked. I've grown up since that last time and I don't expect it to be the same and I don't expect to see ghosts of people I once knew. I'll take my dog, good, supportive friend that he is, and we'll walk the hill together, past the woods, past the town library, the church, the magnificent old homes with little signs on them attesting that they were built in 1745 or 1802--all physically the same as they were then, but I'll know that they really truly are not the same to me. I'll be a person with a dog and that's all. I know that now.
Well said and well written. It does make me want to go back but with my eyes open. Actually for me, to go back to my high school area or my husbands, would be renewing old friendships, as many never really left the area. They may have moved 5 miles or 15 miles away but, unlike us, they pretty much stayed put.

Now, have we gone back to the past ever? Yes, a time or two, hubby and I do go to some of his class reunions, not college because I doubt we would know anyone, but high school yes. And we did drive by the house I was raised in a few years ago, as well as a couple of the houses we owned when the kids were growing up. They brought back some memories, some good, some not so good.
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
72,172 posts, read 83,851,483 times
Reputation: 41929
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhxBarb View Post
Ugh. About 3 years ago I took my adult kids back to the house they were born into, in Lakewood CO. It was our first house, we paid $40,000 for it in 1970 and it was a little white ranch with a huge back yard. Well, let me tell you I was shocked to see how run down the area had become. All the shrubs were overgrown, they had painted the house brown, had 2 junk cars in the drive, and a huge shed practically in the front lawn. I had planted a Maple tree in front and it dwarfed the house cause it was so big. We drove away quickly. Never again. Times change and so must we.
Sounds like us a few years ago, well more like 10 or 15. We drove by the last house we owned in 1981, Glendora, CA. It was almost in shambles, the drive way needed replacing, there were a couple of old cars in front and I don't think it had been painted since we had in done in about 1979, but not all the homes we have owned had the same misfortune. You are right, it is hard to go back. We were told that as children and I believe it is true. We all need to look forward, not backward.
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:35 PM
 
1,480 posts, read 2,310,891 times
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To me seeing the town I grew up in after all these years put my personality in focus. I think we are all impacted by the social and political culture of the place we grew up in. Even with identical genes and parents we would be different people after growing up in The Bronx NY vs. Lincoln Nebraska.
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Old 08-16-2013, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,954,895 times
Reputation: 42863
We've gone back to visit old friends, and while we were there stopped by to see places where we used to live and a few other stomping grounds. I thought it would be really interesting to see our old house and neighborhood but oddly enough it wasn't all that exciting. Looked more or less the same as I remembered. We looked at it for about 3 seconds, said something like "Yup, that's the house all right" and then we were ready to move on and do something else.

We've also gone to both of our college campuses several times to attend conferences, and that was actually fairly entertaining. We've had a great time walking around the campus, and seeing what had changed over the years. My elementary school is long gone, although I suppose I could wander through the IKEA that was built there.
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