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Old 04-17-2008, 09:31 AM
 
1,861 posts, read 3,025,186 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolL View Post
Exactly. When I grew up in that little town, I wanted nothing more than to get out. I felt so different from everyone else, isolated, ignored. And I wanted college, a career, and city life, which I've had all my life now, and, at this age, I'm so weary of it all. Even DH, who grew up in the city and lived here all his life, is tired of the traffic, the noise, the people, et al. Anyway, now I think that, if we go back there, I would be going _to_ something rather than running _from_ something. I'm just looking for peace.

Interesting you should be from upstate NY, cousinsal. It's one of the places we're considering. We've visited many times over the last few years and really love it.
Well, I'll tell you some nice places: Rochester (or outside of it), Ithaca, the North Country where I went to college like Potsdam (very COLD though), above Albany near Saratoga, below Albany in the Catskills, Plattsburgh right next to Vermont. Anyway, it's a huge state!
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:33 AM
 
Location: southern california
55,668 posts, read 74,646,551 times
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terrible things happen that you cant change. you become someone else.
(a line from the brave one)
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
9,321 posts, read 16,587,636 times
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We will be going back to N. CA for a wedding in June. We have been in our new state for almost 4 years now. I left some bitter memories but some wonderful friends behind, so it will be interesting to see how we feel driving up the old road.
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,177 posts, read 8,701,447 times
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Smile Going back home

I grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago and had a lovely childhood. I would love to go back to visit but I could never afford the home prices today. Not the same feeling probably. I think homes there are very high.

And, it was fun being a kid with the snow but as an adult, no thanks!!

I'll stick with Florida and I have no problem with that!!

In fact, today I was actually in Miami (downtown) and it was totally fine. People were friendly, never felt threatened, in fact, felt very safe, lots of people walking around and traffic was fine. So, no problem!!
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:31 PM
 
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Well, I have just this year done that very thing-- try to go home again. And I have found out two things: 1) while you have moved on, so has your childhood home and 2) the home of your heart and the home of your youth may end up being two different things.

There really is nothing like "going home" to show you how much you've changed. If you try to reconnect with some of your childhood friends, you'll probably find that the people you had the most in common with in school are the ones you have the least in common with now. If you moved away to larger cities, while they stayed close to home, your lives have traveled different paths. They'll be friendly strangers and though it's good to catch up, you may do that quickly and find you have nothing else to say. Or you may pick up right where you left off, embracing each other's differences. A lot (maybe most) of your favorite childhood haunts will have given way to "progress," the older people and teachers you remembered kindly may have gone on, your old house will belong to another family, who will have pulled up your mother's flowers and planted their own, and the kids coming out of your old school will look so young! While your friends will look so old!

In other words, it's bittersweet. All of those bits and pieces woven so tightly into the fabric of your childhood have become unraveled from reality. So while you can go home in a physical sense, there's going to be a disconnect, because the home you remember is just that-- a memory. And as much as your old hometown will have changed, you will likely have changed far more.

What I ultimately found is that while I started out a Southern girl in California, I am now a California girl in the South. I have grown into a different person and who I was then is not who I am now. Roots really do grow where they're planted-- sometimes, much stronger than you think. But, given time, they'll take hold somewhere else. And you know what they say-- hybrids have the best blooms.

Good luck to you!
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Old 04-22-2008, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Atlanta suburb
4,728 posts, read 9,090,595 times
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I can admit to myself that I would like to return to my childhood home not for what it is today, but for what it was as I was growing up.

It was the place where I always felt nurtured and loved, the place with the most beautiful mountains and rivers, the place with 3 drive-in movie theaters to choose from, the place where I went to Sunday School and church each week. It was the place I had my first date, my first kiss and my first cigarette. It was the place where my dearest and truest friends rode bikes, had sleepovers, and pizza parties - all for my great pleasure.

I had the good fortune to spend 6 weeks in my childhood home last winter while caring for my father in hospice care. I loved the squeaky wooden floors that my mother and dad had lovingly laid down. I sat on the back porch swing where my dad tried to teach me to identify the yard birds. I slept in the bed each night that I got for my 12th birthday. I spent 6 sweet weeks with my father.

I know that I can never go home again. None of those things that made me love it so are there any longer. What I wish to return to are my dreams of years long gone. Those I can go home to anytime I wish, and often do.

But, the place I retire to will nurture me now in different ways, with different friends and with my lovely memories of all those years long gone. I'll make a new home - a place where my children and my grandchildren will long to return to, years from now.
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Old 04-23-2008, 06:41 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
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I have not developed any strong attachment to anywhere so I am already at home wherever I am. I do develop attachments to a few people but even those eventually fade.
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Old 04-23-2008, 09:53 AM
 
Location: ...in the desert...
36 posts, read 159,974 times
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It's difficult to go home again. It's dangerous to the psyche, in some cases.

Older people already face a lot of losses. Returning "home" can confront them with far too many losses at once, I feel.

I base this upon my much-older husband's desire to "go back home" -- the town he knew is no longer there.

When we visited, his comments were basically, "Such-and-Such's Restaurant is gone! Old Doc Mayer's place is gone! The breakfast nook is gone! The Club is gone! The shoe store is gone! They changed the bank up! They changed the theater! They changed..."

On and on. Distressed.

And then, trying to reconnect with old friends and acquaintances. Most all of them...dead...or so changed...

There's a real danger trying to recapture the past. There's a danger that the present is lost, as well as the past, leaving the person NOTHING, just lost...I used to do a lot of volunteer work with the elderly, until I found it was ruining my mind. They could never be happy with what was. It could never, ever measure up to what had been. I could "never" see as pretty of flowers as there were "back in the good old days..." never have a cup of coffee "as good as the coffee they served at the Grissom Cafe..."

These people didn't even have their memories, in some ways, because their towns/cities had changed so much that everything was like a challenge to them, challenging their memories...

Be very careful about moving "back home"!!!
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Old 04-23-2008, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Atlanta suburb
4,728 posts, read 9,090,595 times
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BrushFyre, I can really identify with your post.

I have spent a lot of time volunteering for the elderly in nursing homes - as a reader mostly.

My experience has been different with them, however. Although, those that were still rational had very poor short-term memories, I found that the majority had very vivid, sharp memories of their youth and early adulthood.

These memories, even when attached to "...sure isn't the way it was back in my day..." have been lovely, sentimental, and inspiring to me, and I'm sure, to the one reminiscing. I have learned so much from listening to the funny, happy, sad, and poignant memories of those in their 70's, 80's and 90's.

I think each gray hair represents some twig of wisdom for those of us lucky enough to listen and appreciate.

But, if they would ever return to their homes I am afraid that they would be sorely disappointed in what they would discover. Neighbors change, the paperboy is new (and, probably not half as good throwing the paper as so-and-so), the mailman is never on time, too many cars in front of the house anymore, and so on.

No one should think of returning to the home of their youth unless they are prepared to be a stranger to the area. I would only return for the pleasure of people that I still had close contact with and there is no permanence in that, either, as BrushFyre stated. Either they or I will soon be gone leaving a space in someone's life.
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Old 04-23-2008, 04:42 PM
 
365 posts, read 1,131,028 times
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I've waited a while to respond, because your comments have been so thought provoking. I hardly know where to begin, and the responses you deserve would literally take me hours.

I've spent time in the hometown over the years because my mom still lives there. I have seen how the place has changed. I don't expect to find what used to be. Part of what I'm struggling with is what several of you have discussed: The reasons I loved the place in my childhood no longer exist. Almost all of the family who made the place an interesting, fun, loving atmosphere are deadóbut I still feel surrounded by their presence when I'm there, and I find that comforting.

Gemkeeper said: "No one should think of returning to the home of their youth unless they are prepared to be a stranger to the area. " Absolutely. I'd have to learn how to live there all over again. People would have to get to know me, and I them, all over again. I can't recapture the past. I want to build on it, not return to it.

Goodbyehollywood said: "In other words, it's bittersweet. All of those bits and pieces woven so tightly into the fabric of your childhood have become unraveled from reality. So while you can go home in a physical sense, there's going to be a disconnect, because the home you remember is just that-- a memory. And as much as your old hometown will have changed, you will likely have changed far more." Great comments. I think the best attitude would be to convince ourselves we're moving to a new, unfamiliar place, or at least treat it that way. Is that possible? Or is it always too familar? And now that you've reached your conclusion, will you move again?

THank you to everyone who has replied. I've read each and every comment, and appreciate your thoughts.
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