My beautiful 30+ year old daughter wants to go back home. How do I explain that you cannot go back home?
Home is a medium size twin cities that has grown beyond what it was when we lived there because an auto plant was built just before we left the town 14 years ago. We were never involved in any of the expansion, the workers or the results of having an auto plant added to our hometown. What does she remember?
I grew up in that town, therefore, I was a city daughter. I was considered part of the town. Newcomers came and either they liked it or hated it, there was no in between. The land is flat and if they came from a rolling countryside, they hated it. If they came from a large city, they usually hated it.
The church was one I grew up in all my life and it was so much a part of me. My children thought it was too old, not enough young people and teens. I knew that it was vital that they become followers of Christ. Therefore, I chose 3 different churches and told them that we would attend and that they were to choose which church they would become involved with thoroughly. They chose a church and we all attended (husband, wife and children) Sunday, morning and evening, Wednesday evening and I had choir Thursday evening. At this point in time, I began attending the State University, where I eventually obtained a degree. Life was full and very busy but my priorities were in place. When my children graduated from high school, I went back to my home church. I do not regret those years because my children and their well being was and is the most important issue in my life. If I have to sacrifice for them, I will. I did not give up my life for them, I changed a part of it for a time. I gave them what I believe was most important for their upbringing and future life.
The ambiance of a smaller town was wonderful, however, the tunnel vision (at that time) was not. Many of us would shop for clothes out of town for the styles we preferred. The physician situation was not the best. When I was raising my babies, there was only one pediatrician. The story was that he kept the others out, however, his practice had grown so large that he hand chose one pediatrician to come into town, which is the one I chose. He was excellent, however, the choices were ruled by others, leaving us with almost no choices. Pricing was according to whomever was in charge at the time. I do not know or understand what caused some of my favorite shops to fail, however, after a year or two they would disappear or why some of the major chains were in my town and others were not. This was the way of the town for years.
The ice and snow and very deep cold I do not miss. Driving on ice most of 4-6 months was a huge tummy clutcher (those of you who have never driven on ice won’t understand that one, it’s when you step on the brakes in a rainstorm because a semi is bearing down on you head on and you go sliding. . . .only it’s continuous). The cold was so unbearable that even with a muffler over your face my chest hurt every time I breathed walking outside. By the time you got undressed (so many clothes for such cold weather), it was time to put everything back on and go home.
The culture was absolutely admirable because of the university. They offered a museum, theatre, Shakespeare in the summer, and an auditorium that provided entertainment. There was a community theatre (which I often participated), many organizations such as N.O.W., Genealogy Society, Business Women, AAUW and etc. The research was extraordinary because of the university library, but in addition the capitol was not far with superb historic facilities. To the north an hour and a half there was a very large city with a great zoo and wonderful museum of art. To the south about three hours was another large city with a great zoo and a wonderful baseball park.
My genealogical family lived and grew up in the surrounding area over 100 years (almost 200 now) ago allowing me a great deal of wonderful opportunities for research, grave hunting, and (their) house hunting.
I have some very wonderful dear friends still living there that I grew up with, graduated high school with and go back and always call or see them. Since my parents are still there, I go back once a year. The friendships are truly treasures to me.
Would I go back to live? Possibly, if it hadn’t changed that much, but because it has changed into a world I would not choose to be part of, I would not. Surely, there are some towns that have, not necessarily stayed the same, but have not changed to the extent that an auto plant would cause it to change, I would love to find it. I miss desperately the university relationship that a medium/small town receives from it. I miss not being with the friends I grew up with and being able to see them often. I miss my home church, there is not one here in this area, as big as it is, not one. I have tried to attend church after church, but their basic philosophy and ideology is not as open and enriching as what I grew up with and I chose not to judge but to proclaim and accept, so I am without a church home.
My daughter, I am sure remembers the small town quaintness, the low traffic, the low crime and the general happy feeling of the small town. We live in a crime ridden, traffic infested, high economical area. I do understand, but going back won’t solve the problem because you cannot go back, you must always go forward. I feel that she should figure out what she wants and find it, not try to recapture something that is no longer available. My thoughts.