Tripping Northward


Time flies when your life consists of hours of frantic-paced frenzy punctuated by moments of dazed stillness in the family room with frozen pizza and two snoring dogs and Eureka Season 3 in the DVD player.


So it is with some wonder that I write that we took a trip to New Hampshire A MONTH AGO. How can that be? I could have sworn it was just last week.

There's something divinely consoling in a visit to my "growing-up" hometown. After so many years away, the edges of the images in my mind are softened, and I'm pretty sure I hear "The Wonder Years" theme in the background.

Over an hour outside our destination, Mike and I start pointing excitedly to the left and right, filling in Flutterbug on many of our memories...there's the town where Mike committed his heart to Christ (in "The Devil's Domain" of the Salem High School Blue Devils!)...here's the apartment his blind grandmother once lived in...oooh, I remember ice-skating in that park after they flooded it with the firehose...and over there is the call-box on the telephone pole that Mike hit with his face while riding his bike past a fight erupting across the street which he couldn't pull his eyes away from (the fight never materialized because the men erupted in laughter when they saw the geeky kid across the street get knocked off his bike by the call-box, with the bike continuing innocently down the sidewalk)...hey, where's the old bowling alley?? the one with the small balls - what was that kind of bowling called?...I bobbed for apples at that Methodist church one halloween; that was the year I really wanted to dress up as a witch, like all the other girls I knew, but was forced to settle for a pirate, since THEY'RE not evil (and at least I wasn't the Vegetable Girl, like the year before, with a colander of fake squash and greenbeans and potatoes on my head and orange yarn hanging down through the holes and vegetables painted on my bedsheet dress and my cheeks and THEN had to walk down Main Street in a parade...oh, the mortification **sorry, Mom**)...almost to my street now...here's the road Mike and I often rode up and down on his ten-speed, with me on the handlebars...there's the ditch into which I rode my Huffy banana-seat bike, with, according to my 8-year-old neighbor (a Facebook friend now, wonder of wonders) my ponytails flying resolutely behind me...and, then...ahhh, my Wonder Years home...


...complete with my lovely Dad, his lovely flower beds...

...and the old croquet set still in commission in the backyard.

The very same day we arrived, we headed to the farmers' market downtown for a little shopping. I try to keep Mike's wallet light, so it doesn't weigh his pants down. We wouldn't want him sagging - that's so yesterday.

There's my dad talking vegetables. He'd make a much better Vegetable Girl...uh, Man than I, with his vast knowledge and interest in the subject.

And fruit...talk about fruit...he's got the world's best kind of superfruit in his own yard - BLUEBERRIES.


That is not my belly...it's the handle of the can poking my shirt out. YES, IT IS.

We counted the number of open Morning Glories every day.

My childhood may not have been as perfectly idyllic as I remember, but, like my dad's Morning Glories, I have grown and flourished and all the good things and people who had a part in it deserve to be the memories that rise to the top of my mind.

Here go the soft edges and that Wonder Years music again...

2 comments:

Brenda (BBC) said...

You have some funny and heartwarming memories. It would have been lovely if my parents had stayed put so that I had home memories to return to, but they moved back to their home state when I graduated from college! when I do get to see my old hometown, it's as we're rushing through on the way to see my 90 year old aunt in the next town over. However, I don't have any cool memories like the call box face plant Mike did. hehehe

tuftsmel said...

GOOD JOB! Good commentary and good photos, all except the one of the "olde" man picking blueberries. Shoulda left the hat off!