A few weeks ago, I drove through my old childhood neighborhood, and went around the block reminiscing and remembering old friends and good times. I have so many good memories!
I drove past Hosanna Tabor Church where my friends and I would practice hitting tennis balls against the brick side of the building, and then past Michelle’s house where we would lay on the cement driveway for hours each day in the summer, smothered in baby oil trying to “catch a tan!”
I drove down Elmira Road and laughed at how short a distance it actually was between our garage and Atkinson’s garage, facing each other on opposite sides of the street. As kids, those garage doors served as hockey goal nets for my brother Larry and all of the neighborhood boys. The front lawn of our house on Hemingway was the size of Joe Louis Hockey Arena in the winter when we were kids, and Mum and Dad made it an ice hockey rink every winter, but I realized it was always just the very small front yard of a sweet 800 square foot bungalow home. The walls of our old home hold the dearest of memories of growing up in Redford Township.
I would ride my 1970’s style bright yellow bike with the sparkly banana seat, tasseled handlebars, and the cute little white basket on the front, up and down Elmira Street in the evenings, daring to go just one or two streets further each evening after dinner. I’d imagine that I was out of town – traveling farther and farther from home. And on the rare occasion Mum would send me to the IGA to pick up one or two things she’d jot down on a piece of paper for the cashier, I’d pull up my bike and park it, pretending it was my car, and I was all grown up and running errands.
I couldn’t wait to be a grown-up, have a job, travel the world and have responsibilities!
Well, I’m all grown up with responsibilities now. And every Monday through Friday morning, my phone’s GPS attempts new ways to get me to work because of construction or traffic. Sometimes I listen to her, other times I don’t. And when I choose not to, that already annoying voice of hers tells me to “proceed to the route.” As I continue to disobey her, she gets more and more bossy, and so help me God… louder! “Proceed to the route. PROCEED TO THE ROUTE. PROCEED. TO. THE. ROUTE. PROCEED!!!!! TO!!!! THE!!!!! ROUTE!!!!”
I’ve traveled the world, lived in four different countries outside of the U.S., flown in a hot air balloon over mountains of Northern California, taken all day train rides through Korea, and all night bus rides through rural Honduras, driven through the favelas in Brazil, swam with dolphins and even made it to a lou ou in Hawaii!
But now? Oh, the older I get, the more I’d just like to go back in time and live as much of my life as I can within as few traffic lights as possible. You know – lose life’s drama and difficulties, and just keep it simple. (Live in a bubble?) In fact, I’m even tempted to buy one of those nerdy three-wheeler ridiculous-looking bikes, and yes – hang a flowered basket on the handlebars!
So I’m counting traffic lights these days, determined to go as far back in time as possible.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress… or the lack thereof!